Wheeler Clinic in Plainville fills duffel bags with necessities for foster children

Wheeler Clinic in Plainville fills duffel bags with necessities for foster children

Record-Journal


PLAINVILLE — Blankets, toys and toiletries filled up 200 duffel bags this week as part of an event by the Wheeler Clinic’s foster care program.

“There are about 4,000 children in Connecticut that are in foster care and in any given day 800 of those do not have a permanent place to live,” said Sharon Pendleton-Ponzani, director of the foster care program at Wheeler Clinic’s Northwest Drive facility.

She said that often youth in the foster care system are forced to transport their belongings in trash bags from place to place.

On Monday, employees from Wheeler and volunteers from Mott Corporation, headquartered just down the street, decorated the bags called “sweet cases” with drawings and encouraging words like “one day at a time.”

“It’s a great cause,” said Boris Levin, president of Mott Corporation.

The manufacturing company donated items for the bags and employees were on site Monday to help decorate and fill them. Mott’s partnership with Wheeler includes support for a full-time community health worker serving Bristol, Hartford and New Britain as well as health ambassador volunteers.

“We feel it’s our time to contribute when the federal and state funds are being reduced,” Levin said.

Wheeler’s foster care program is funded by the state Department of Children and Families and provides family homes to youth ranging from 6 to 17 years old.

“This is one way we can give them something,” Pendleton-Ponzani said of the bags.

After the bags were decorated, they were filled with items like toothbrushes and toothpaste. Stuffed animals, games and fleece blankets were also added.

The event was connected with Together We Rise, a non-profit organization working to change the way the foster care system is navigated.

The organization has replaced over 100,000 trash bags with new duffel bags for youth in foster care to take with them.

Wheeler said they hope to host more “sweet cases” events in the future.

More information can be found at https://www.wheelerclinic.org/

akus@record-journal.com 203-317-2448 Twitter: @KusReporter


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