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Joliet Catholic Academy Students Help Bring Beauty to Foster Kids by Decorating Duffel Bags

From left to right are some of the students that helped decorate the duffel bags: Abby Pasternak, Ryan Hearne, Lauren Klump, Teresa Rodriguez, Caroline Pender


Joliet Catholic Academy Students Help Bring Beauty to Foster Kids by Decorating Duffel Bags

This semester, members of the National Art Honor Society at Joliet Catholic Academy partnered with Together We Rise (TWR), a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the way kids experience foster care in America, to decorate panels for duffel bags for foster kids.

When children enter foster care, they are usually given a trash bag to carry their few belongings. TWR provides new duffle bags, called “sweet cases,” filled with essentials, such as a teddy bear, blanket, hygiene kit, and much more.

TWR works with hundreds of foster agencies, social workers, court-appointed special advocates, and other partners to bring their programs to foster youth across the nation. The foundation has provided thousands of foster youths across the country with new bicycles, college supplies, and sweet cases so that children do not have to travel from home to home with their belongings in a trash bag.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, the students were only allowed to decorate the outside panel of the duffel bag. The members who participated picked up their panels and a package of oil pastels from the JCA Art room and worked on their designs at home.