Jul 21, 2023

Algonac Care Bag Movement Sew

The Care Bag Movement's Sew-A-Thon and Collection Day, which provides care bags and comfort items to children taken into the foster care system, took place April 28.

The event, which took place at the Algonac Lions Hall, is organized by a Care Bag Movement student leadership team made up of Algonac High School students with the assistance of the Piece to Peace Quilters and other community organizations.

At the event, personal items for all ages were collected and items were made for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services St. Clair County office and Kids in Distress Services Inc.

Piece to Peace Quilters member Sue DeLange said there were about 3,500 items collected, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, soap, body wash, combs and more that would be needed for a care bag in the event that a child would be taken from their home.

She said there were many types of personal items collected for all ages so that whatever age the child may be, they would be able to take an age-appropriate care bag. She also noted that there is usually something in the bag to provide a child comfort, such as a stuffed toy, a book or a puzzle.

Volunteers made pillowcases, flannel blankets, fleece blankets, care bags and lined cosmetic bags for liquids at the event. DeLange said there were 475 pillowcases, 187 flannel blankets, 165 fleece blankets, 100 care bags and 100 cosmetic bags made.

She said that when the group was first making the items for the county, they were putting liquids into the bag with everything else and they would open and ruin other things in it, and so the group was asked to make the cosmetic bags to prevent that.

"We had a wonderful time," Piece to Peace Quilters member Jan Evans said. "What's so nice about this event is it's multigenerational. You have every age there. The high school sent a whole bunch of kids over, their honor society, their International Baccalaureate program, the Care Bag Movement kids, so we had just a lot of those honor students that they let off the day to come."

In the afternoon, first- and second-graders came through, as well.

"They would meet the high school kids outside and there they would talk to them about the Care Bag Movement, about being kind and about giving to others and just mentor these young kids," Evans said. "Then they brought them through and kind of explained to them what was going on with all the different stages and then they had a room where they went in and they were able to fill bags with personal items."

The kids also received treats and a patch saying they volunteered at the Care Bag Movement, and then went back to their classroom so the next class could come through.

"It was really nice," Evans said. "They loved it; they just loved it. They just had the biggest smiles. The high school kids are just planting seeds, saying, ‘We’ve got to take care of each other.’"

She said that breakfast, lunch and snacks were provided by local businesses and that representatives from the St. Clair County MDHHS office and KIDS were in attendance to speak.

Evans estimated about 200 people were in attendance throughout the day.

"This was our first big Care Bag Sew-A-Thon and Collection Day since COVID," she said. "We generally always had this every year and we’ve been doing this for 10 years, but we had to stop at COVID, so this is just our year to gear up again and just a really, truly successful event."

DeLange said the group does what it can to help and pass along what it is given at its collections.

"We also have a collection day in October," she said. "The students organize a collection day through the school and they also contact the elementary schools and they do their collections, as well."

Students in grades nine to 12 can join the Algonac High School Care Bag Movement club.

"It's quite a large group," Evans said. "We have 12 graduating seniors that will be leaving this year us and I think we had about 25 members this year and they were awesome."

She said the students organized it, were there in the morning to help set up and did not leave in the evening until everything was put away.

"Those kids were there from the beginning to the end," Evans said. "I’m just so proud of them and what they did and what they accomplished. It's a great program that the high school has for the Care Bag Movement."

DeLange said that this year's student group is larger ever before.

"They are so eager to help," she said. "They’re so eager to find out what they need to do and they come up with a plan and they come up with new ideas and if there's problems, they just put their heads together and come up with solutions."

She noted that the students were able to go to the St. Clair County MDHHS office and KIDS locations in order to learn more about what each does.

"They not only learn what is needed and how to give back, but they’re also learning committees and how to be responsible for different things and doing troubleshooting, coming up with solutions and working as a team," she said.

For more information about the Care Bag Movement, go to

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