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‘Bedtime Bags Program’ provides bedding, comfort to children in foster care and temporary homes

By Staff | May 26, 2022

The Rotonda West Woman’s Club donated a dozen handmade “bedtime bags” so children entering foster care or temporary homes will feel comfort and warmth in their new surroundings.

Bedtime bags were divided into toddler, adolescent and teen categories, and included pajamas, age-appropriate books, toiletries and hygiene items, washcloth bunnies and stuffed animals. Volunteers from the Woman’s Club donated, knitted, crafted and assembled items before providing an initial 12 bedtime bags to the Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit. The club’s Sew N’ Sews group, chaired by Jackie Miller, sewed themed drawstring bags, and the Sunshine Committee created original birthday cards that can be given to children at a later date.

“Children are often assigned to a temporary home with little or no time to gather any personal belongings, so it’s incredibly important for them emotionally to have something to call their own during this transition,” said Jessica Stanfield, executive director of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation. “Once the Rotonda West Woman’s Club learned about the needs of our organization and the children we represent, they immediately stepped forward with their support, and Bedtime Bags will be a great extension to our Beds for Kids Program.”

Beds for Kids provides new mattresses, bed frames, linens, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, dressers, lamps and end tables. Children are selected based on recommendations from their court-certified volunteer child advocates, which represent children as they navigate the judicial, education and child welfare systems. The Guardian ad Litem Foundation recruits, trains and supports volunteer child advocates while also providing funds for “extras” like birthday parties, tutoring, summer camp programs, movie tickets, and registration fees for clubs and sports.

Members of all five community service programs within the Rotonda West Woman’s Club – Arts and Culture, Civic Engagement and Outreach, Education and Libraries, Environment, and Health and Wellness – joined members of the Signature Project: Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention program and other standing committees to launch the Bedtime Bags Program.

For additional information, please visit VoicesForKids.org or call 239-533-1435.

About Guardian ad Litem Foundation

The Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit, was established in 1984 and is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports Guardian ad Litem programs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation, a United Way Partner Agency, has a mission of ensuring that every abused, neglected or abandoned youth in Southwest Florida has a voice as they navigate the judicial, education and child welfare system. The Foundation raises funds that help meet a child’s health, educational and social needs, as well as provides support for highly trained volunteer advocates who represent the best interests of a child until a safe, permanent placement is established. For additional information, visit VoicesForKids.org or call 239-533-1435.