During the summer I was a senior counselor at a camp in America for underprivileged kids. Some of the children came from poor families, and some were growing up in the care system. The camp would provide sheets or items of clothing if the child had come without, which happened quite regularly. The children loved being treated like they were the most important people around for the week, and enjoyed learning bible stories and playing sports while they were campers. It was clear what the camp meant to these kids; it was more than just a holiday, it meant a break away from their difficulties and a chance to be normal, in an environment that restored their value, worth and dignity.

I found this experience truly eye opening. The new kids would arrive each week with such a limited amount of possessions. Often the children would be wearing clothes which were stained or had holes in them. Some of the kids arrived with black bin bags strung over their shoulders, to hold their clothes and possessions in for the week, as they didn't have any suitcases or rucksacks at home. The imagery of the black bin bags was really emotional as it was clear that they took away the dignity of the young people and made them stand out as care kids. To be reduced to carrying your possessions in a bin bag must be one of the most demeaning plights for young people in care.

Having experienced this first hand, it is clear that Madlug customers really are making a huge difference in the lives of young people like the ones I spent time with in the summer. You must not underestimate the impact of giving young people in care something as simple as a bag to go about their lives with dignity. For many it can be the stepping-stone away from the stigma that is attached to growing up in care to a future of success and prosperity.

Keep making a difference with Madlug!'

Amelia Burns

March 01, 2017 — Madlug Blog

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