The first batch of Butterfly Bags of Hope were recently delivered to the Orange County Department of Social Services on by Amber Vitoulis, who created The Butterfly Bags initiative. Amber began this Girl Scout Silver Award project to bring hope to children in foster care and as a way to make a positive difference in the lives of children who are going through a difficult time in their lives.
The bags are filled with things to bring them comfort, things like clothing, blankets, stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons, journals and pens, toothbrushes, and tissues. Each bag has a “Butterfly Tag” attached with a message of hope.
Darcie Miller, Commissioner of the Orange County Department of Social Services, said “It was my pleasure to meet Amber and her mother, Ann Marie, as they delivered the first batch of ‘Butterfly Bags’ for children in foster care. Amber, motivated by her heart and compassion for children who have to leave so much behind and her desire to provide them with some comfort, has assembled these bags with love. There are nearly 400 children in foster care in Orange County. These Butterfly Bags will provide a sign of hope for each child as they receive them.”
Amber is overwhelmed by the support of the community, saying, “I learned from this project that when people are made aware of a situation, especially when it is to help children, they can be very generous. It showed me how good people are.”
Amber is grateful to the Warwick community and to all the individuals, families, Girl Scout troops, businesses, and everyone who has contributed and supported this continuing endeavor. Donations may be made at Grace Lutheran Church, located at 25 Waterstone Rd. in Greenwood Lake. Other collection sites will be announced at a future date.