MOUNT PLEASANT S.C. (WCSC) - As students are returning to their classrooms after the holiday break, volunteers want to make sure children in foster care have backpacks filled with everything from basic necessities to toys and games.
More than 120 volunteers at Seacoast Church put together 1,453 backpacks for the Charleston Department of Social Services. It's all a part of the fifth annual "Journey Bags" initiative.
Local missions coordinator Laura Lewis said the church works with families, local businesses and other churches to collect the supplies each year.
"We wanted to do something that will fully stay local and impact our local community," Lewis said. "The social workers, as they have need, will pull a backpack for a child and bring it with them and be able to give it to a child."
Currently in the tri-county area, there are more than 530 children in the foster care system.
Parents caring for the kids say backpacks can be be an uplifting gift in a world of uncertainty.
“The first placement I had, it was a brother and sister and when they walked through the doors with their case worker, everything they had was in two grocery bags,” single foster parent Lynne Stroy said. “Them having these bags when they come in is huge not just for their needs but for their comfort and knowing that they have something that’s theirs that they can take with them.”