Created: 04/24/2014 9:32 AM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It's a gift that can really make a child's life easier, especially when that child is in foster care: Tote bags to carry their belongings.
One Rio Rancho teen has been collecting new and used bags for years.
"We take tote bags, backpacks, basically anything that's bag form," said Brianna Swinderman.
Brianna has also been giving the bags away to foster kids and victims of domestic violence.
"Whenever they're being taken out of the homes they just had to throw everything they could in a trash bag," added Brianna.
Brianna's mom is a social worker and she told her how some kids would have to pack up their toys and clothes into a trash bag.
"That's everything that they love, everything that's kept them comfort through the times that they've been in an abusive home or an abusive situation. It's in a trash bag," Brianna said.
That's why Brianna came up with "Bags of Hope." She estimates that they've collected and distributed about 3,000 bags.
She hopes each and every bag is a symbol of hope.
"There is going to be somebody out there that cares for them," she said.
Haven House and CYFD are just some of the places Brianna distributes the bags. She recently found out that these agencies are starting to run out of the bags – just a sign help is needed now more than ever.
For a list of drop off locations, click here.