What are Bags?
We continually collect for Foster Noodle Programs year round. The program is a community based project and is not associated with one specific organization. Shut The Front Door is the supporter and organizer to request gifts in order to obtain goals that we set based on need and request. January 1st will be the beginning of a new year for the Noodle Bag Program. The Noodle Bag Program supplies a new piece of luggage for each child that is removed from their home on an emergency basis and has little to no personal belongings. The amount of children that carry their items from foster home to foster home in trash bags is part of an epidemic that we have chosen to eliminate. There is a large variety of items that get donated and in order to balance that out there is a monetary gift contriibution link. Cash contributions are used to supplement the items that are needed.
I don't know you well and I was not familiar with your program until I was in court this past summer for a foster care update. My husband and I were at the court house because we were taking a foster child that is in our custody to a hearing and I saw you struggling to hold on to your bag and a large box you were holding…you had a child with you but I didn't know if he was a foster or not. I just remember thinking you had a lot of things going and quite honestly was interested what was in your box. Later when we were leaving I saw you again by the entrance where the sidewalk met the door and we all hear it at the same time. The crying of a child. Nobody moved and I think they were all just so used to hearing it because it wasn't unusual to see crying children on the second Tuesday of the month at the courthouse. I saw him probably about the same time that you did. I would guess he was about five years old and he was kind of run walking to keep up with the lady in front of him and immediately I knew what he was there for because of the plastic garbage bag he was struggling to drag behind him. He was crying and at first I wasn't sure why but then I saw the things inside of his bag start to fall out of the bottom. He must have been dragging it long enough for it to bust open. The look on his face broke my heart because he didn't know if he should stop and pick it up or just leave it behind, he probably was used to leaving all kinds of things behind. The lady he was following turned around at that time and told him to hurry up, they were late. This is when I saw you move in. You, dropped your bag and giant box where you stood and walked directly to him, while holding your child's hand. Not once wondering if your things would be safe. What I saw I will forever remember. I will forever love you because the feeling it gave me was like nothing I could explain. You walked right to him and dropped to your knees and put your hands on his arm and immediately began inspecting the whole in the garbage bag and telling him that it was nothing to worry about, I heard you tell him that you were going to take care of this and make it all better. You whipped your head around and told that lady to stop right there, and you looked up and back at your things…I rushed over to them and brought them to you and your smile was so warm. Inside of your large bag you pulled out a black duffle bag, unfolded it and began taking his things from the broken garbage bag and folding them, dusting them off and carefully packing them away like they were pieces of china. When the garbage bag was empty you wadded it up in to a ball and tucked it under the knees you were sitting on in the middle of the sidewalk. You zipped up his new bag and told him that everything would be safe in there and patted it with both of your hands, you then reached into the large box that was with you and pulled out the same black style bag but it was already full. You unzipped it, and showed him the coloring books, blanket, flashlight, and a small stuffed dog (I think). You showed him the picture of the noodle on it and he smiled. You told him that this new stuff was for him too and he could keep it forever. You hugged him and handed him the new bag, the bag you filled up with his belongings you handed to the lady he was with and asked her if she thought she could handle holding that for him. She nodded and you told her that putting a child's belongings in a trash bag was sending the wrong message. You then looked at the kid and his new bag and patted him on the shoulder and said "It gets better" and you picked up your stuff and walked down the sidewalk. I remembered the picture of the noodle on the bag and that's how I found you. I wanted you to know that what I saw that day was like seeing an angel in the middle of the sidewalk. What that little boy felt was probably very much the same.
Thank you so much for all you do