In 2019, the Bravery Backpacks program came about when 31:8 Project was approached by law enforcement to put together comfort backpacks for children who experience trauma when they are forcibly removed from their parents or guardians due to an unsafe environment, violence in the household, or drug and alcohol issues. Studies show that children caught up in such unstable living environments are more susceptible to becoming victims of human trafficking. The program was originally intended for 2 to 12-year-olds but has since expanded to include 13 to 17-year-olds. These comfort backpacks have been distributed by service providers, law enforcement, medical professionals, schools, and foster care parents across North Dakota. Items in the comfort backpacks include hygiene items, a hairbrush, hair ties, pajamas, underwear, socks, a blanket, a stuffed animal, coloring books, journals, stickers, crayons or markers, and internet safety information.
Without the Bravery Backpacks program, police report that young people enter foster care or emergency shelters with, at best, a trash bag of clothing grabbed just before they are escorted from the home. Oftentimes, children enter placement with no possessions at all. Ultimately, the Bravery Backpacks program has had a positive effect on North Dakota communities, but most importantly it continues to impact youth by addressing there immediate physical and emotional needs. Bravery Backpacks have been distributed by service providers, law enforcement, medical professionals, schools, and foster care parents across North Dakota.
If you would like to donate money or items to this program or request a backpack, email us at email@example.com.