SAN ANTONIO — The idiom ‘Charity begins at home’ could not be a more accurate genesis for Hunter Beaton’s Day 1 Bag initiative. He recalls watching his adoptive siblings walk into his home with their belongings in a trash bag.
It happened when he was 6, 8 and 11. The picture stuck with him.
“When they’re holding their stuff in a trash bag it only seems simple enough to think my stuff is like trash,” Hunter said.
He believed his parents’ focus, rightfully so, was on the overall well-being of the children.
“I’ve been blessed with the ability to see a need and to have the opportunity to fill it,” He said.
In the summer of 2016 Hunter’s Day 1 Bags was born through an Eagle Scout project. His goal was to deliver 100 to the Texas Department of Family and Protectives Services in Kendall County which also covers Blanco and Gillespie Counties.
Hunter pitched his program to their welfare board.
“It’s heartbreaking to have to move the kids and have nothing to put their belongings in to,” Julia Niemeyer said.
Niemeyer is the supervisor of the TDFS office. She said accepting Hunter’s benevolence was a no brainer.
“There’s always going to be a need for bags,” She said. “Unfortunately, there’s always going to be another child being removed from a situation.”
Hunter’s diligence to give bags to children removed from homes by Child Protective Services was on a streak. He connected with a local bag manufacturing company in Boerne.
Flying Circle Gear’s Jimmy Chittum remembered seeing a program much like Hunter’s on the East Coast.
“The trash bag thing sounded terrible to me,” Chittum said. “So, when Hunter approached me, I was like I kind of know what you’re talking about and I would love to help out.”
Chittum had a surplus of bags sitting around his family Boerne Road business because the U. S. Army changed its camouflage pattern.
“It’s fate I guess that the stars lined up just right and we found each other,” He said.
Hunter’s Day 1 Bags started with a donation of 250 bags. Three years later, the yield of his latest effort was 1,000 bags in May. According to Hunter, he’s given away more than 28,000 bags.
In fact, he gets requests from all over the country thanks to his partnership with One Simple Wish.
“I’m no superhuman. I’m not anybody that has a super high intellect,” Hunter said. “I’m not this amazing person who has it put together. I’m just like everyone else.”
He admits the bag initiative can be hard to keep up with. Chittum, who either donates or provides the bags at a charitable discount, also acknowledges the rate of children who need bags can be overwhelming. Yet the boxes are always packed with bags ready to send out to a child in need.
“I just want people to know that Hunter Beaton is just an everyday kid that saw a need and filled it,” He said.
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