iBelong

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Our Mission:

The mission of iBelong is to help abused and neglected children in Washington State by providing a backpack filled with essential items. Whether a child is first entering into foster care after a sudden removal from their home or they are living on the streets of Seattle, we believe every child should have a safe place to hold the few belongings they can call their own. By providing a child’s basic needs in a crisis situation, we hope to lessen the trauma caused by their chaotic circumstances and prevent any unnecessary shame or embarrassment.

Our backpacks are filled with essential items, as well as things that are comforting and fun, and are distributed through partnerships with local child placement agencies and ministries that reach out to vulnerable youth. Our intention is to give children something they can call their own and hopefully make their transition a little easier.

 

How This Idea Was Launched:

There was  several people coming together and realizing that God had placed a similar ministry on all of our hearts. Two staff members of Overlake Christian Church noticed that their foster children came to their homes late in the evening with a few belongings stuffed in a garbage bag. Their hearts broke as these children had nothing to sleep in and nothing to cuddle with as they went to bed in a strange place. Not long after that, another woman in the local community contacted these same staff members and shared her idea of providing backpacks for children in crisis. Still another member of Overlake Christian Church shared her passion for leading a backpack drive at Christmas for homeless teens in Seattle.

Finally, a woman up in Skagit County shared at a meeting of orphan care leaders a ministry that she had started that was very similar to what had been placed on the hearts of these gals at OCC, and she was happy to share with us all she had done to begin her ministry called “Restoring Joy”. So, iBelong was birthed out of obedience of what the Lord was calling us to do. And as always, He provided the means, the talent, the passion and the resources to get it started!

 

 

 Items Typically Placed In Backpacks:

Bottles, Sippy Cups or Water Bottles depending on age and gender of child

Blanket, toy, or stuffed animal

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Diapers or 2 pair of underwear

Socks and one outfit of pants/shirt

Pajamas

Bible or bible stories for toddlers and personal note or prayer

Disposable Camera and small photo album (plastic baby-proof for younger

children) to take pictures of their parents during a visit

Bandaids and Neosporin

A few snacks (age appropriate)

Hair brush and hair accessories for girls

Deodorant, soap, shampoo, diaper rash ointment, lotion

Journal for the older kids

For Our Homeless Youth, We Might Add:

Rain poncho

Gloves, hat, scarf

Chapstick

Sweatshirt or jacket

Snack bars, candy

Pens

MP3 Player

Watch

Phone cards

Waterproof bags

Gift card for shoes

Personal hygiene items

Invite to church

 

Interested in Filling a Backpack:

If you are interested in filling a backpack to help a kid in crisis or a homeless youth, please pick up a backpack from Serve The World desk @ Overlake Christian Church on Sundays. You can print the bag tags with the age-appropriate items listed on them from below:

 

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