Children entering foster care need all the comfort their community can provide, and you can help make their lives a little easier with an emergency backpack.

If you want to help Central Texas kids in need of the little comforts we take for granted every day, the Temple CPS office has a list of simple things to stuff in a backpack that could make a world of difference.

Donated items will be gifted to these children and belong to them, which is another concept that can bring a great deal of comfort to kids entering foster care. Many of these children are leaving their former homes with nothing, and some have to give up personal items that are infested with pests.

It all starts with a new, clean backpack. Children from newborns to 17-year-olds are awaiting placement, so that's something to keep in mind when choosing a bag.

Once you've got your bag (or bags), here's what you can put in there to benefit these children:

-A set of pajamas
-A package of underwear
-Toothbrush and toothpaste
-A game/puzzle/coloring activity/stuffed animal/journal
-Travel size shampoo/conditioner/body wash
-A rush/comb
-A small blanket if geared toward smaller children, or a throw for older children
-A sweet, handwritten note of encouragement

I feel like that last item is of vital importance. Imagine being a kid in that situation and knowing someone out there you don't even know is rooting for you.

The folks at Temple CPS do ask that you include a label (preferably with a paper tag) indicating what size and gender the backpack is intended for. That just helps them get the bags to the kids who need them a little more quickly.

If you can help, they ask that you drop bags off between Monday and Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM, at 4501 S General Bruce Dr., STE 20 in Temple. That's inside the old Temple Mall next door to the Cinemark theater just off I-35.

Just tell the folks in the office the donations are for the Rainbow Room.

Thanks to everyone out there who can help and finds it in their heart to do so. No kid in Central Texas should be forgotten.

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