North Bergen students pack ‘journey bags’ for foster children

NORTH BERGEN – Students from Robert Fulton School and Robert Fulton Annex packed nearly 200 “journey bags” with the help of teachers, staff and parents to aid foster children in the Hudson County area. The event took place March 22 at the North Bergen Public Library. Journey bags are backpacks consisting of new items the foster kids may need while they are going into placement.
“This is an excellent initiative by Robert Fulton and Robert Fulton Annex,” said Mayor Nicholas Sacco. “Programs like these bring the community together and it is always a welcome sight to see young children care for one another and participate in events that elevate the community. I commend the teachers, administrators and particularly the students for the wonderful job they are doing for foster children.”
Ellen Begbie, a 5th grade teacher and a moderator for the Ambassador of Kindness program at Robert Fulton School has been helping her students raise awareness for children in foster communities by fundraising for the journey bags. “Many enter foster care with just the clothes on their backs,” she said. “These bags help foster children know that they are loved and cared for.”
The Ambassador to Kindness program is committed to promoting kindness throughout the school. This year, the moderators decided to take the journey bag project to another level and asked the Robert Fulton Annex to get involved in order to further raise awareness for the worthy cause. The Ambassadors of Kindness and student council members worked hard collecting donations and spreading the word about the project, and raised nearly $3,000 in a short period of timed through weekly student collections, events hosted by the Parents and Teachers Organization, and a dress-down day for teachers. In addition, Foresters Financial provided a grant of $2,500 thanks to the assistance of William Messina, a Foresters Financial employee and sympathizer with the cause.
The bags will be collected by the Division of Child Protection & Permanency Hudson County area office and distributed throughout the Hudson County offices as needed.

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