ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On any given day, there are over 390,000 children in foster care in the US and almost 12,000 children in foster care in Georgia. Many are removed from their homes with minimal personal belongings, often given only a trash bag to carry what little they have. Every child deserves to pack their belongings in a special bag that they can call their own.
Amerigroup Georgia and Comfort Cases have jointly announced a new initiative aimed at providing a renewed sense of dignity and support for every child during their transition into care or new placement settings. Under this program, all children in Georgia’s foster care system will receive a “Comfort Case” backpack, thoughtfully filled with essential personal care items, and a “Comfort XL,” 32-inch duffel bag. These specially designed bags can be easily folded into the size of a book, making them ideal for use by Sherriff’s office and other agencies involved in moving children. This initiative will have a transformative impact, replacing the use of trash bags to transport foster children’s belongings.
Rob Scheer, the founder of Comfort Cases, has a deeply personal connection to this cause, as he experienced foster care as a youth. Together with his husband, they have adopted five youth from foster care, demonstrating their profound dedication to improving the lives of children within the system. He stated, "Each backpack represents more than just material possessions; it symbolizes hope, compassion, and a brighter future. We are dedicated to standing alongside foster children during their most critical moments, ensuring they are equipped with the support and resources they need to thrive."
To commemorate National Adoption Month in November, Comfort Cases and Amerigroup will host additional packing parties with community members across the state, including Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Rome, Valdosta and more, further reinforcing the spirit of collective responsibility in supporting foster youth. These packing parties will involve group homes and child placement agencies, who will help pack the Comfort Cases alongside volunteers and then distribute them to the children in their care.
“Amerigroup’s longstanding support for Comfort Cases exemplifies our commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of every child across Georgia, extending beyond medical care. We are focused on providing youth in foster care not only the physical support they need, but also the emotional support, dignity, and happiness that will improve their quality of life and well-being,” said Mel Lindsey, President, Amerigroup Georgia. “We are proud to expand our partnership with Comfort Cases to address the needs of our most vulnerable youth and ensure they have the love, care and support they need when they need it most.”
The exclusive partnership between Amerigroup Georgia and Comfort Cases marks a historic moment in the nation's efforts to support children in the foster care system. The first-of-its-kind initiative showcases the power of collective action and sets an inspiring precedent for other states to follow.
In the last year alone, Elevance Health, the parent company of Amerigroup Georgia, has partnered with Comfort Cases to host 23 packing parties across 15 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, providing over 10,000 Comfort Cases and XL duffle bags to youth in foster care nationwide.
ABOUT AMERIGROUP COMMUNITY CARE OF GEORGIA:
Amerigroup Community Care of Georgia helps improve healthcare access and quality for more than 600,000 low-income Georgians by developing innovative care management programs and services. Members are assured care that is not only accessible but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated, and patient-centered. Amerigroup Georgia provides ongoing community relations and outreach to encourage members to become active participants in their health care. Through health education programs, members are empowered to choose and sustain a healthy lifestyle. For more information about Amerigroup Community Care of Georgia, visit www.myamerigroup.com/ga.
ABOUT COMFORT CASES®
Comfort Cases is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to inspire communities to bring dignity and hope to youth entering foster care. Since 2013, we have distributed more than 200,000 Comfort Cases® and Comfort XL duffel bags to children in the foster care system in all 50 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. We are a gold-level GuideStar participant, demonstrating our commitment to transparency. Click this link or visit www.comfortcases.org for more information.