LAPLACE – Less than a week after the 2021 Backpack Extravaganza, Blessed to Be a Blessing and community partner Cargill have teamed up to provide school supplies, hygiene kits and extra backpacks to children in River parishes.
The Ministry of Children and Family Services picked up the donations from Cargill’s office on July 22. Representative Michele L. Adams-Barre said the supplies will have a huge impact on adoptive children in the River area.
“Often children are cared for in the middle of the night or on weekends, and it is difficult for workers to be able to go out to shops and buy items for their basic care needs. Hygiene kits will be really helpful in situations where officers might be in a rush and can’t run out and get what they need to get through the night,” Adams-Barre said.
She added that donations of school supplies will ease the financial burden on foster parents facing the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Foster parents are just ordinary people in the community who provide assistance to our agency and help children through the foster care journey,” she said. “The pandemic has changed the world in an instant for many people, and many foster families have struggled to continue accepting placements. Help from community partners will make it a little easier for our foster parents .
Adams-Barre appreciates the selfless donation and thanks Cargill Representative Natasha Bates for facilitating the partnership between the Ministry of Children and Family Services and Blessed to Be a Blessing founder Eliza Eugene.
Bates said Cargill employees have been passionate about helping foster children in the area since the company partnered with Child Advocacy Services.
“We have worked with CASA in the past. We donate to them every year and they have participated in our employee giving campaign. Each year, we allow associations in our community to come and talk to our employees about what their association represents. Then employees can donate and it comes from their paycheck. From CASA came to help foster children,” Bates said.
She added: “Our primary goal is to help our community thrive. Our Community Involvement Committee is very active, especially when it comes to all things food, children and seniors. Our employees take time off work to be able to serve in our community, and we are very proud of our employees who show up every year when we attend community events.
Cargill participated in the recent Backpack Extravaganza, donating 500 backpacks full of school supplies. The donation to the Department of Children and Family Services included another 24 hygiene kits and backpacks full of supplies.
Eugene is a former foster parent and she hopes this donation will be the start of an ongoing relationship with the Ministry of Children and Family Services.
“We thought it was important to expand our territory. Why not reach every child? It’s important that they know that Blessed to Be a Blessing and many others care enough to send them the tools to give them a healthy and happy start to the new school year,” Eugene said. “Most foster children are in an unusual situation. Some of the guardians may be grandparents who don’t have much but love in their hearts. Social workers can now visit homes and present school supplies to ease this financial burden on that adoptive parent.
According to Eugene, Blessed to Be a Blessing is a 100% volunteer-run organization. As it is a non-profit organization, every donation received goes back to the community.
“I’m just a visionary. I can’t do anything without the support of the community, and I thank God for the supporters, from large corporations to small businesses, and the volunteers who make it possible for us to do what we do,” said Eugene.
For more information on how to donate or volunteer with Blessed to Be a Blessing, visit btbb.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Eliza Eugene at 504-451-4712.