"About 400,000 children enter the foster care system each year, and over 20,000 children age out of the system yearly. Statistics show that the average child remains in the foster care system for two or more years, and the ones that age out are vulnerable to becoming homeless and/or addicted to drugs. "
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
BACKPACKS SINCE 2013
Children In Unity (CIU) is an organization that was formed by Ellen and Christopher Begbie in 2013 and became a New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation in 2016. Their mission is to get communities involved in spreading love and kindness throughout the foster care community.
Children In Unity educates others about the harsh realities and raw needs of foster children while they are being “processed” and “transitioned” into their foster care homes. In some cases, these children are removed from their homes in the middle of the night, with just the clothes on their backs, dirty, hungry, and cold. They are forced to carry the only belongings that they have in black garbage bags. For foster children, the fear of the unknown is overwhelming to them. Many of these children will endure what most adults never experience in their lifetime.
One of Children In Unity's main projects is the Unity Bag Program. CIU works with communities by educating school aged children on how they can make a difference in the lives of foster care kids. They learn how they can have a direct impact on foster care children and help them have a brighter initial experience.
"Children In Unity works with communities by educating school aged children
on how they can make a difference in the lives of foster care kids."
"In some cases, these children are removed from their home in the middle of the night, with just the clothes on their backs, dirty, hungry, and cold "
"The Unity Bags are a blessing, not only to the children, but to the foster parents as well."
“One foster child, a 6 yr old boy, came to me on a Monday evening at about 6:30. He was escorted in by a caseworker and was very unhappy. When he walked into his new room, his eyes opened wide as he looked at his new bed. On his bed was a backpack. He asked if it was for him and he immediately started digging into it. He was so happy to find a toy, a bedtime Bible Story Book and new pajamas. His whole demeanor changed immediately. Just having something that he could call his own made a bad moment a lot better.”
“The Unity Bags are a blessing, not only to the children but to the foster parents as well. Many children come late in the evening, with very few items. It is sometimes difficult to get a child so late, and have to run out to start buying essentials that they might need for that evening. While at the same time, getting to know them and trying to help them feel at home.”
"Thank you so very much for your resource pack for our foster children. I cannot tell you how much your note and backpack eased our first transition into fostering.
We saved the notes to be included in our girls' "story book," and sincerely appreciate your thoughtful gifts.
If there's anything to help your cause, we'd welcome any suggestions.
God Bless & thank you from the bottom of our hearts!"
~Viju- Foster Parent