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Event in Waco aims to make transition to foster care less stressful for children

'Waco Fosters Love' was held Sunday at the Waco Winery.

WACO, Texas — Inside the Waco Winery on a summer Sunday, a difference was made.

"We're doing this through an organization called 'Together we rise,'" Becca Kinerd, an event organizer, said. "They do a lot for kids in foster care to kind of comfort and support them."

Waco Fosters Love was held Sunday, creating bags with essential items like a teddy bear, blanket and more which kids may not have time to grab when being taken from a home to be placed in foster care.

Called "sweet cases," they're designed to ease some of the stress placed on the kids who are in some of the worst times of their young lives.

"They very rarely get to choose what comes into foster care with them," Chelsea Chapman from Arrow Ministry Waco said. "And, oftentimes, what little may be able to come with them comes in a trash bag. That can be really damaging emotionally, because when your stuff is in a trash bag, you feel like trash."

Kinerd helped organize the event, which she said hit close to home for her, because she was a foster child.

She's hoping to give kids entering the system back something they often lose.

"Dignity," Kinerd said. "When I was taken into the foster care system the last time, with two siblings, we had a shoe box. Collectively, all of our belongings fit into one shoe box. That's just devastating, it's heartbreaking. We just kind of hope to take away a little bit of that negativity."

So, people gathered inside to have some fun and help.

"We definitely want to try to have these kids feel like they belong somewhere and have some belongings," Chapman said. "Even if just a duffle bag we give them that is theirs and theirs alone."

Waco Winery said it will have additional bags to decorate and help for $30 each, Tuesday through Thursday.

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