Sometimes all it takes is someone to recognise a problem and find a simple solution to make a big change in the lives of others. Rob Chasteen-Scheer, Founder of Comfort Cases, is just that person.
When children enter foster homes in the United States they oftentimes bring only a trash bag of clothes with them. Yes, you read that correctly: they carry only a trash bag of clothes with them.
Chasteen-Scheer was in the foster care system from the age of ten, so he knows full well what it feels like to carry your whole world in a tattered trash bag.
“When my partner (now my husband) and I decided to adopt we began as foster parents. In January 2009 social workers called, saying they needed a foster home for a 4-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother. We would become the third foster home to these children in less than three months.”
When Amaya and Makai arrived they carried nothing more than a trash bag with a well-worn tattered outfits and Chasteen-Scheer immediately flashed back to being ten-years-old, arriving at his foster home with a trash bag.
“More than 20 years later I still remember that day. I remember my foster parents taking me to buy clothes for church because I carried only a tattered pair of pants and two stained T-shirts.”
Chasteen-Scheer decided it was time for something to change. Now the adoptive father of four children, he has founded Comfort Cases, a non-profit based in Maryland in the United States, that provides basic supplies for children in foster care.
Children under ten receive a backpack that is packed with pyjamas, a small blanket, toothbrush, toothpaste shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, coloring book and crayons, a book, and a stuffed animal. Backpacks for children over ten include much of the same, although the coloring book and crayons are replaced with a journal, pens, and pencils.
Vulnerable children in our societies face special challenges as they mature, not least of which the insecurity of not having a ‘real’ home or something to call their own. Comfort Cases help alleviate the often-difficult journey foster children face.
There are many ways you can support Comfort Cases: volunteer with the organisation, donate items needed, host a packing party, or contribute funds.
Learn more about how to get involved at the Comfort Cases website and watch the video below to hear Rob tell his story.