Bonnie Bing

Bonnie Bing: Junior League’s Trash Bag Handbags highlight children’s needs

The Junior League’s Trash Bag Handbag Campaign is April 18-22.
The Junior League’s Trash Bag Handbag Campaign is April 18-22. Eagle correspondent

Those of us who love handbags have said a hundred times, “It’s all about the bag.” This month that saying is so true, but it has nothing to do with which new spring bag is slung over your shoulder. Members of Junior League of Wichita want you to carry a medium-size plastic bag instead of your purse. And they have a good reason for it.

April is Child Abuse Prevention month, and members of Junior League of Wichita are sponsoring their first Trash Bag Handbag Campaign from April 18 to 22.

Why a trash bag? Children in police protective custody and foster care are frequently transported with their belongings in trash bags. These children deserve more. The aim is to give first responders and case managers something with a more positive effect: a duffel bag. But of course duffel bags cost money, and that’s where the blue trash bags and much-needed donations come in. They can put their belongings in something that belongs to them.

No, you don’t have to go looking for a blue trash sack. Participants will be provided the trash sack, a button that says “Ask Me About My Bag,” and a fact sheet that details the issue and how to contribute.

People can donate at jlwichita.org or in person at the organization’s headquarters at the corner of 12th and Woodlawn. Business hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

One-hundred percent of funds raised will be used to purchase high-quality duffel bags – filled with a pillow pet, hygiene items and art supplies – for $25 each. Distribution throughout the city will be through a partnership with Together We Rise.

And there is more good news. If you donate $25 or more you’ll receive a voucher for a free wash-and-fold laundry service from In The Bag Cleaners.

When I told a friend about the campaign, she laughed and said, “As big as your purse is and the amount of stuff you carry in it, you better double bag that trash sack or get a leaf bag.” Funny.

I’m going to switch my billfold, makeup bag, pens, glasses and other items to the blue plastic bag the morning of April 18, put the button on my shirt, and head out. By the way, the very color of the bag is hot for spring. Oh, and I’m adding a scarf so that people don’t think it’s a shopping bag. I want them to ask about it because I’ll be ready with the information sheets provided by the league. (These women think of everything.)

Go to jlwichita.org and get signed up, and if you want to make me happy, say you’re on the Bonnie Bing team. Just know I won’t come do your laundry.

It’s going to be fun so take part in this new campaign and get your blue trash handbag. It’s an accessory that will make an interesting fashion statement. But it makes an even more important statement: You care about kids who are spending way too much of their lives in transition.

Reach Bonnie Bing at bingbylines@gmail.com.

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