Toowoomba mother Nadine Wright was horrified when she discovered children were arriving at foster homes with their entire lives packed into black garbage bags.

Knowing she had to act, Wright formed the foundation Hope for Our Children, which raises awareness about the issues foster children in the Darling Downs region may face. She also packs up to 40 bags each month filled with toiletries, pyjamas, toys or crafst, handmade pillowcases or blankets, and other goodies for foster children.

“When a child is given a garbage bag it just reflects the strong rejection they are already feeling,” said Wright.

Mrs Wright has already received positive feedback from foster carers, though their stories are still hard to hear.

“There were two little girls who, at the time they were taken into care, hadn’t been bathed in over nine months,” said Wright.

“They were full of lice and had body sores. Their carer deloused them, washed and brushed their hair. The girls were so emotional to find new hairclips in their bags and be able to wear them.”

“They were also so proud to take their new backpacks to school,” she said.

Amongst the positive feedback, Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki praised Wright for the incredible work she is doing. 

“These bags mean the world to children who have been removed from their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Janetzki explained.

“It can be hard for foster children to be living in someone else’s home and wearing someone else’s clothes,” he said.

“This gives them something of their own that they can hold onto.”

Wright relies on bag donations through the Hope for Our Children Facebook page. Some suggested donations include new backpacks/duffle bags, good condition second-hand bags/backpacks, new in-packet toothbrushes, hairbrushes, toys, teen items, baseball caps, skateboards, and diaries.

Read about Bake A Wish here.