The Tennessean & My Bag My Story
Small token of comfort by new Brentwood nonprofit makes big impact on children in foster care.
Read it here on the Tennessean
Brentwood resident Cara Finger, who launched the nonprofit My Bag My Story last week, said a duffel bag seems like a small item, but to some children in the foster care system, it symbolizes the things most valuable — self-worth, dignity and comfort during a difficult time. Her new nonprofit provides duffel bags for children who are in foster care, giving them something of their own to keep up with their belongings. Finger, who has served as a foster parent herself and has three children, two of whom were adopted, said so many innocent children are forced to cope with traumatic situations, and she wants to make it a little easier. "It wasn't until we became foster parents that I saw a child carrying a plastic sack," Finger said. "I started thinking what if I could provide them bags and got the idea to start a nonprofit. "You are taking away a child's self-respect when you give them a trash bag. Sometimes the only thing kids have control over is their stuff." Finger has seen firsthand the comfort such a small token can provide. " I heard about a child at DCS justlast week who had been in six or seven foster homes. She was upset because she felt disorganized," she said. "But once she was able to organize her fall clothes and summer clothes in two different bags, she said, 'I feel so much better.' That's the only thing she had control over." 'I might have been like others waiting to be adopted' Finger said she was lucky. At 2 months old, she was adopted by loving parents and has lived a happy, secure life. However, she remains keenly aware that many other children are waiting — for an uncertain amount of time — to reunite with their families or to be adopted, while in the foster care system. "I know if I had not been adopted when I was two months old and had two loving parents, I might have been like (the hundreds of thousands of children) today waiting to be adopted," Finger said. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Children's Bureau, 125,000 children were waiting to be adopted, while 437,000 were in foster care in 2018.