Sheriff’s donation provides duffel bags for Indiana foster children

Regional News

GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – Sometimes Indiana’s foster children have to move from home to home so quickly, they have to throw everything they own into a trash bag.

Now, things are changing. Some foster children in Hancock County will get duffel bags, thanks to a big donation.

Former foster child, 22-year-old Matthew Peiffer knows exactly what it’s like to have his belongings stuffed into a trash bag. He had to do it eight times.

“It made me feel like trash, you know?” Peiffer said Tuesday. “The bags would get holes in them, then you just throw the trash bags away and start new with a new house.”

Peiffer didn’t want to miss the arrival of something special inside several large boxes: more than 100 duffel bags for the foster children of Hancock County, so they don’t have to use trash bags.

Hancock County Sheriff Brad Burkhart donated $500 from his own pocket to buy the duffel bags for the kids.

“Sheriff Burkhart, we just want to thank you for this generous donation,” Amy Waltermire, DCS Hancock County local office director said as she addressed a group of volunteers. “This is the kind of thing that really makes a difference for kids who are entering foster care.”

“It’s a small token that can go to benefit many kids in the community, if need be,” Sheriff Burkhart said.

“I think it’s a true blessing. Our sheriff, he’s really kind for doing what he did,” Joshua Christian, a former foster child added.

The donation is part of Indiana’s Department of Child Services’ statewide #TrashTalk campaign.

DCS is working with the Borrowed Hearts Foundation in Evansville to give foster kids duffel bags. This was the largest donation in the state, so far.

“Amazing,” Waltermire said. “We couldn’t be more thankful for the donation the Sheriff has given our county.”

Every $6 donation buys a duffel bag for a foster child who needs it in your area. So officials hope this generosity spreads statewide.

“The entire state needs their help, so if anybody that’s seeing this can donate, that’s going to be great.” Sheriff Burkhart said.

The way Peiffer sees it, these bags could bring hope to foster children.

“Every kid that gets these duffel bags, this is going to be something they take with them from home to home, so they have something meaningful and they’re not losing their possessions when they’re traveling from house to house,” Peiffer said.

If you’d like to donate a duffel bag to a foster child anywhere in the state, you can do so through either the Borrowed Hearts Foundation or the DCS Foster Care website.

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