Marin County non-profit launches 'Project KEEP' to help foster children

MARIN CO., Calif. (KGO) -- Plenty of kids head off to school with stuffed backpacks, but rarely do they make the same difference as packs handed out by a Marin County non-profit called AdvoKids in Corte Madera.

The legal advocacy group has launched a program to provide foster children with backpacks filled with essential items this holiday season. Everything from toys to toothpaste, to books and school supplies is tucked in the packs.

The program is known as Project KEEP, for Kids' Emergency Essentials Pack. Organizers say many arrive in the foster care system with little more than the clothes on their backs.

"There's a gift card in each one in case they need to run out to Target and get themselves something. And there's a blanket in every one to kind of give them some comfort. And the teddy bears, even in the teenage bags, which I'm sure they don't appreciate, but it's our gesture to say, here you can have something to snuggle," says Carol Ihlenburg, Project KEEP Co-Coordinator.

Project KEEP is run by volunteers who coordinate with Marin County Children and Family Services.

Project KEEP welcomes donations of the following new/unused items:

-High quality backpacks and diaper bags
-Teddy bears (suggestion: Gund - available at Amazon)
-Pajamas, socks and underwear (all sizes)
-Diapers (all sizes)
-School supplies (pens, pencils, paper, journals)
-Toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss
-Hygiene Items (Shampoo, Conditioner, Deodorant, Combs/Brushes, Hair Accessories)
-Handmade, soft blankets
-Gift Cards ($25 increments - Target, Gap, Old Navy, etc.)

If you're interested in helping, click here for links to the program.
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