[singlepic id=201 w=320 h=240 float=left]Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has thrown his support behind an initiative to provide backpacks to children entering foster and kinship care.

Mr Pitt said he first became aware of the initiative when he met Despina Parakas at the Cairns Baby Expo.

“Despina explained that she and her partner been looking at taking on the role of foster carers and had discovered that in many cases the children are put into care with nothing but the clothes they are wearing,” Mr Pitt said.

“I asked how I could contribute and made the pledge to supply items for toiletry bags – soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant.

“It can be extremely traumatic for a child to be taken into care, often without notice, so it is good for them to have these personal items to help cope in a difficult time.”

Backpack organiser Despina Parakas said she had made it her mission to fill 1,000 backpacks with essential personal items for children in care. Miss Parakas has now expressed a desire to continue the project indefinitely.

“The backpacks will contain clothing, pyjamas, a little blanket, new underwear, age appropriate toy or book, toiletries and a torch,” Miss Parakas said.

“All donations are welcome – just remember children in care can be all ages, from newborn babies to teenagers. Pre loved clothing and toys in good condition are always accepted as well as donations of brand new underwear.

“Items can be dropped off at any Overflow store in Cairns, Innisfail of the Tablelands – just look for the wheelie bin with our logo on it.”

For more information visit www.backpacks4aussiekids.viviti.com

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