Story last updated at 11/20/2013 - 5:14 pm
The Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions Club (MFLC) is taking part in the "Children First" program through Lions Clubs International. Lions everywhere are answering the call to serve children in need throughout the world, giving them hope for a better tomorrow.
"We recently became aware that children who enter into the foster care program often do so with very short notice and with no personal belongings but the clothes on their back. In those instances when they do have personal belongings, it is often carried to their foster home in a garbage bag. Our children deserve better," said Nancy Norton, chairwoman of the Lions Pack Committee.
In cooperation with the Office of Children's Services, MFLC will provide a backpack to every child who enters into the foster care program as part of their "Lions Packs" project. This is a traumatic and stressful time for children, and it is the club's hope to provide an item of comfort, like a stuffed animal, a "blankie," or a small toy in each backpack. In addition, a few items of necessity to help these children through the next 24 hours such as toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner.
How can you help? MFLC needs new or gently-used backpacks, travel-sized shampoo and conditioner, small infant toys and stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons. Locally, MFLC will be kicking off this program with a collection drive on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nugget Mall where they will collect donations.
Norton said times can be tough, but our children deserve the best we can give them during this difficult time. It doesn't take much to say, "I'm sorry you've been put in this situation, but we care about you."
If you're interested in participating in Lions activities like this, or for additional information on this project, please contact Nancy Norton at 957-4171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.