Jan. 1, 1970
HAP CareSource Partners with Comfort Cases® to Support Local Youth in Foster Care
Grand Rapids, Michagan, Dec. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HAP CareSource announced today it is partnering with Comfort Cases®, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide hope and dignity to youth in foster care. The first joint program between the two entities will be a “Packing Party” in Grand Rapids, Michigan on December 20. Volunteers will pack 500 “Comfort Cases™ backpacks, filled with comfort and personal care items which will be immediately distributed to Samaritas, Bethany Christian Services and Child Welfare Program for Kent County DHHS to get to local Michigan children in or entering the foster care system.
Why the need for comfort cases backpacks? For decades, it has been common practice for youth entering foster care to be handed a black trash bag to put their few belongings in and use as their only luggage. There are currently approximately 13,000 youth in foster care in the state of Michigan and upward of 600 every day in Kent County.
“We are honored to support Comfort Cases and their mission, especially in Grand Rapids and greater Michigan,” said Sarah Musser, VP Market Operations, HAP CareSource. “We focus on bringing the best outcomes to youth in foster care – both physically and mentally. Our goal is that the love we pack in these Comfort Cases will bring consolation and a smile to a child during a tough time.”
Rob Scheer, founder and CEO of Comfort Cases, was in foster care as a youth and was given his trash bag by his foster parents when he “aged out” of foster care at age 18 and a senior in high school. He is now the father of five children, all adopted through the foster care system. Recognized by many for his (and his husband Reece’s) efforts to improve the foster care system, Rob is often called upon to testify in front of local and federal government organizations.
“The foster care system is broken,” says Scheer. “How is it possible that 40 years after I was handed my black trash bag, that my children came to my front door with those very same trash bags? Every child deserves to pack their belongings in a special bag that they can call their own.” Scheer continues, “we are grateful to have met the ‘Good Humans’ at HAP CareSource and in the Grand Rapids community who are willing to take the extra step to help our youth in need.”
Scheer has been named a “CNN Hero”, featured in the documentary “Dads”, produced and directed by Bryce Dallas Howard and is the author of his memoir “A Forever Family”, published by Derek Jeter’s imprint at Simon & Schuster and soon to be made into a television movie.
Volunteers from HAP CareSource and the local community will be packing the comfort cases. They will then be immediately distributed to local children’s services agencies, including Samaritas, Michigan’s largest foster care and adoption agencies and Child Welfare Program for Kent County DHHS.
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 220,000 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. For more information, please visit www.comfortcases.org.
About HAP CareSource
HAP Alliance Plan (HAP) and CareSource joined forces to create a powerful joint venture that combines CareSource’s operational excellence with HAP’s deep Michigan presence and legacy through Henry Ford Health System. The joint venture will execute on the companies’ shared goal – a healthier, happier Michigan. Consequently, since HAP CareSource will use the strengths of both parent entities to serve Michigan.Back to Press