Children In Unity would love to see more School Districts adopt the Unity Bag Program. Their vision is to teach School aged children how to make a difference, while also being able to supply Unity Bags to every County in the Tristate Area.
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This is their personal story...
Ellen and Christopher Begbie were in the process of being licensed to become foster care parents in 2013. It was during this time that they witnessed the harsh realities and raw needs of foster children while they are being “processed” and “transitioned” into their foster care homes. Thus was the beginning of the Unity Bag Program, one of Children in Unity’s main projects is to put together “Unity Bags.” These bags are backpacks that children can call their own, filled with new age appropriate clothing, pajamas, socks, diapers/cream, shampoos, toothbrushes/pastes, ‘blankies’, stuffed animals, toys, books and other comfort items to help children transition into foster care.
Unity came to Ellen and Christopher at two and a half years old. She was placed in foster care due to unfortunate circumstances. When Unity arrived, she had minimal belongings, and it was up to Ellen and Christopher to meet her needs emotionally but also to provide her with the basic essentials such as clothing, diapers etc. to get her through that tough first night.
Thankfully Unity was in a loving home, and remained in care with the Begbies until she was adopted. Not many children are that fortunate. It’s a common scenario for a foster child to enter the foster care system with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Their belongings are usually placed into black garbage bags, and they are moved from home to home not knowing where they will end up.
Experiencing this process first hand is how the idea of Children In Unity was conceived. In September of 2016, Children In Unity became a New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation. Their mission is to get communities involved in spreading love and kindness throughout the foster care community. Its name was derived from their adopted daughter’s birth name, Unity.
Ellen, a fifth grade teacher, has been working for Robert Fulton School in North Bergen, New Jersey since 1999. When Ellen started the Unity Bag Project, she enlisted the aid of her school children; this blossomed into the whole school and others getting involved to help. Her love and dedication to her students is evident by her desire to mold them into strong, caring citizens. She states, “Children helping children is the ultimate way to teach kids compassion and kindness”.
Since 2013, Children In Unity has donated many Unity Bags to Hudson, Bergen, and Passaic County. Children In Unity continues to work with the North Bergen School District and hopes to get other schools involved in the near future.
Pictures From Adoption Day...