Yesterday while we were at the Prosecutor’s Office for their holiday lunch, we were witness to the comments of Judge Cooper and their lead prosecutors about the efforts of their office to bring Christmas to the forgotten children of Oakland County’s Mandy’s Place. It is clearly a passionate subject for them. Prosecutor Cooper talked about helping kids who are in the short-term housing that Mandy’s Place offers through no fault of their own. They may be the victims of abuse or neglect; have parents who are drug addicted who are unable to care for them; or in general have nowhere to call home and no one to look after them. The Prosecutor’s Office has decided to take on the task of providing a Christmas for children who have nothing and expect nothing.
Prosecutor Cooper talked about how these kids are often known as the “trash bag kids” because they don’t have backpacks like all other kids of their age. They haul around their meager belongings in trash bags.
While we were there she showed us a closet full of clothes, toys, shampoo, deodorant, coloring books, winter gloves, bathrobes, you-name-it. She had a pile of new backpacks waiting for owners. All for kids that could be termed “throwaways”–kids that have committed no crime–they have been thrown away by people who were supposed to care for them. Kids with no home. Often these are older kids since the young ones are more likely to be sent to foster homes. There aren’t many foster homes that take teenagers. It is sad to contemplate that this could actually happen in this day and age, but it does.
Her goal is to get every kid a change of clothing, a package of personal care items and something fun. She has formed a 501c3 charity-Prosecutor’s Foundation for Kids. Her office held a 5k fun run in our city this fall to raise funds for this effort. The employees in her office just bring things in that are needed. They will all be wrapped soon and will be distributed on Christmas Day.
She’s asked me to join their board and I’m willing to do what I can to help. No kid should be without a Christmas.