Hello Duffels4Kids friends & supporters!
We are literally four weeks away from the 2016 Duffels4Kids Walk happening May 21 in Jacksonville! There is still time to register if you haven't done so; you can also register as a virtual walker if you can't join us in person at www.duffels4kids.org.

So where does your money go when you donate?
The easy answer is "to buy duffels" of course. But the more complex answer is that it helps provide a small sense that "somebody cares" for the kids who receive our duffels. We all know that foster children have a lot stacked against them already so gifting them with a new duffel for their belongings is our way of saying "we care."

So far this year, we've shown foster kids we care in the following ways:

January 2016
Duffels4Kids provided duffels for foster teens involved in the January 17 "SUP with a Cop Day" hosted by UrbanSurf 4 Kids. This organization teaches foster children how to surf and works with them to develop an appreciation for water sports. Their event in Orlando was the perfect opportunity to provide teens from group homes with a duffel.

February 2016
Duffels4Kids provided Valentine's Day treat bags to all kids attending the Foster Youth Day February 14 at Tropical Park in Miami. This event was hosted by Lawyers for Children America and the Florida Association of Women Lawyers Miami-Dade chapter.

March 2016
We hung out with foster and adoptive families at the Christ Fellowship Foster & Adoption Easter Picnic on March 12. We literally ran out of duffels within 30 minutes at this event but seeing the joy on children's faces AND the gratitude from foster parents made it worthwhile. The kids also loved the Easter treat bags we provided at the table.

Duffels4Kids also provided duffels for foster teens going on a college tour for Spring Break in March. It was an honor to be part of this effort to encourage the teens to think beyond their high school years. It is our hope that we are able to provide this for more teens on an annual basis.

So that's just a small glimpse of what we've done in 2016 at Duffels4Kids, as each week we are distributing duffels individually to foster children who are on our request list.

It's also great to know that our efforts are being recognized. Many of you may know that the Florida Legislature has designated the second week of February as Foster Family Appreciation Week. The Duffels4Kids Walk was mentioned in the bill analysis as one of the ways organizations recognize foster children and foster parents during National Foster Care Month.

All of this we've mentioned is a direct result of your contributions to the walk or to Duffels4Kids in general! So thank you for helping us achieve our vision of changing foster care, one duffel at a time.

See you in Jacksonville!

Warm regards,

T. LaShaun Wallace