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CHFS Invites State Fair Visitors to Donate New Duffle Bags, Backpacks

Visitors to the 2017 Kentucky State Fair can help children in foster care by donating a new duffle bag or backpack at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) exhibit. CHFS is collecting the bags at its display in the Health Horizons area of South Wing B at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Children coming into foster care will receive the bags to carry their belongings.

“Often times, when children are removed from their home and placed into state care, all their belongings are literally stuffed into a black garbage bag,” Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson said. “Can you image how that makes them feel? No child deserves to be given a trash bag for their belongings. This effort changes that. Donating a duffle bag or backpack is a small but meaningful way to help foster children and give them the dignity of carrying their possessions in a new bag that is all their own.”

Glisson said she has invited her employees to bring along duffle bags to drop into the donation bin at the CHFS exhibit space. The Secretary has also asked other Executive Cabinet secretaries and leadership of CHFS community partners and their employees to contribute.

Department for Community Based Services Commissioner Adria Johnson said she was touched by the efforts to help children in foster care, a program administered by her staff across the state.

“This luggage collection is tremendous,” she said. “Our staff is so grateful that we can give children a dignified way to carry their belongings. We have been spreading the word to the public that even if you cannot become a foster parent, there is some smaller thing you can do for our children in out of home care. And if people visiting the fair make the time and effort to donate, what a wonderful gift to these youth.”

A number of organizations have sponsored duffle bag and backpack drives over the past few months. Specifically, Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky launched a “Duffle Shuffle” campaign to ensure children entering out-of-home care would not have to use trash bags to carry their belongings. More information is available at http://www.duffleshuffle.org/ or by searching #DuffleShuffle on social media. Duffle Shuffle details will be available at our state fair exhibit area.

Others, including Girl Scout Troops and office groups, have sponsored duffle bag drives. Earlier this summer, the “Foster Care Pack Drive”, coordinated by employees at Disability Determination Services (DDS), which is part of CHFS, raised $4,200 to purchase new bags and collected nearly 900 donated bags. Donating duffle bags and backpacks is just one way to help children in foster care.

For more information about how you can become a foster or adoptive parent, or to get more general information, email: openhearts@ky.gov, go to the state adoption website adopt.ky.gov, which helps families more easily navigate the foster care and adoption process or call 1-800-232-KIDS (5437).

Cabinet for Health and Family Services 2017 State Fair Calendar

Featured Daily (Aug. 17-27)

  • Free Children’s Dental Screenings (10 a.m. -2 p.m. for children enrolling in public school with signed adult consent) and Oral Health Education
  • Kentucky HEALTH Update and Medicaid/Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP) Information
  • Substance Use Disorder Strategies and Services
  • Zika Education and Mosquito Control
  • Foster Care and Adoption – Duffel Bag/Backpack Drive
  • Tobacco Cessation – The Lung Challenge:  Test your lung strength
  • Free Blood Pressure Screenings and Education

Thursday, Aug. 17

  • Focus on Dental Health – Ask the Experts/Media Availability (10 a.m. to noon)

Monday, Aug. 21

  • Healthy Babies, Healthy Children – Prenatal Care, Safe Sleep for Babies, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP)

Tuesday, Aug. 22

  • Services for Seniors – Adult Protective Services, Aging and Independent Living/Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Kentucky Prescription Assistance Program

Wednesday, Aug. 23

  • Focus on Foster Care and Adoption – Ask the Experts/Media Availability (10 a.m. to noon)

Thursday, Aug. 24

  • Focus on Zika Education and Mosquito Control – Ask the Experts/Media Availability (10 a.m. to noon)

Friday, Aug. 25

  • Focus on Substance Use Disorder Strategies and Services – Ask the Experts/Media Availability (10 a.m. to noon)

Fair Admission and Hours

Exhibit buildings at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center are open daily at 9 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Advance tickets are $7 for adults, seniors and children; free for children 5 years and under. Parking in advance is $5 per vehicle (car and bus). Advance discount prices are available through 10 p.m., Aug. 16, at Kroger and online at http://www.kystatefair.org/ and on the Kentucky State Fair app.

Admission at the gate is $10 for adults, seniors and children; free for children 5 years and under.

Parking after Aug. 16 and at the gate is $10 per car.

For more information about the fair, visit kystatefair.org.

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