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National non-profit spends weekend packing supplies for San Antonio-area foster children

The group "It's 4 The Kids" held a volunteer event on Sunday where more than a thousand duffle bags full of critical supplies were packed for area foster kids.

SAN ANTONIO — Dozens of volunteers spent their time helping South Texas foster children.

A national non-profit held its first event here in San Antonio this weekend packing duffle bags of critical supplies.

Packing bags is easy in the assembly lines formed in a room at the Embassy Suites near The Rim.

The items include hairbrushes, shampoo, notebooks, water bottles and items for children of all ages. They also contain hand-written notes with messages of encouragement.

The duffle bags and all their contents are given to foster children who don’t have a home.

“This is critical to foster children, when they’re placed in the system, it is not set up like a vacation, it’s not, in two months we’re going to move you,” Ricky Patel, board member of It’s 4 The Kids told KENS 5.

Patel said his niece Jayna contacted him about helping children in the San Antonio area.

“My sister and I didn’t have anything to do this summer, so we want to get involved in the community so how can we help everyone around us. We really like to help kids,” she said.

“1,350 foster children are receiving the help they need right now because of a conversation we had about 45 days ago in San Antonio,” Patel says his group helps foster children in cities all around the East Coast.

Within the South Texas region, there are nearly 2,000 children in foster care according to data from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Patel wants those children to have an easier transition.

“[When they’re moved] it can oftentimes be at nighttime…when sending them to any foster care home, they’re given transparent trash bags to put their personal belongings in,” Patel said.

While Patel says they’ve helped thousands of children, making a difference in one person’s life is always the goal.

“There’s always going to be someone there who cares about you and we want them to know that,” Jayna Patel said.

If you’re interested in helping out, Patel says you can donate new or lightly used duffle bags at SpinXpress Laundry locations in San Antonio.

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