Eau Claire (WQOW) - Local agencies and law enforcement are filling backpacks with clean clothes for children in danger.
On Wednesday morning, the "Drug Endangered Children Team" gathered at Grace Willowbrook Assisted Living in Eau Claire to stuff dozens of backpacks with new belongings. The backpacks are filled with donated items like clothes, toys and hygiene items to benefit children who are in a drug endangered environment.
Staff said the need to have these resources became apparent after seeing a growing number of children displaced from their homes because of their parents' drug use. Staff said many times, their belongings are contaminated with drug residue and need to be replaced.
Amy Underwood, a resident at Grace Willowbrook Assisted Living, said she is glad to be a part of the effort. "Well, they may not have any clothes and what they have they probably can't take with them, because it'd be drug infected."
Fran Jordahl, the AODA case manager for Eau Claire County Department of Human Services, said the team did not have accessible resources during emergency situations where children are held in their care for a 24 to 48 hour period."We didn't have a lot of this stuff on hand. We didn't have a lot of clothes or clean diapers or grab-and-go formula," Jordahl said. "We were really struggling and a lot of times, it landed on a lot of family members of the family involved or on the foster parents to really fill in those gaps."
Staff also said they hope to distribute more than 150 stuffed backpacks this year to children displaced from their homes. Students from UW-Eau Claire's Communication and Journalism Department also assisted with packing the backpacks on Wednesday.