Amber Vitoulis is a Girl Scout with a big heart who saw a need in her community and got to work to make a difference. Amber created and is managing a project called “Butterfly Bags, Bringing Hope to Children in Foster Care,” as a way to make a positive difference in the lives of children who are going through a difficult time in their lives.
When children are removed from a bad situation by Child Protective Services, typically a few of their belongings are thrown into a plastic trash bag when they are moved to a foster home. On top of feeling scared and vulnerable, these children may have the perception that they are not valued any more than the trash bags they carry. Amber wants to change that.
Amber’s goal is for a new bag, such as a backpack or duffel bag, to be given to each child removed from their home and taken into foster care here in Orange County. The bags will be filled with things to bring them comfort. More importantly, they will provide an actual backpack or duffel bag instead of a trash bag. Each bag will have a “Butterfly Tag” with an inspirational message to let these children know that they are cared about.
Amber is accepting donations to help this project come to fruition. Donations of new backpacks, duffel bags, blankets, outfits, pajamas, books, toothbrushes, stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, and journals may be made for boys and girls ages newborn through teens. Grace Lutheran Church, located at 25 Waterstone Rd. in Greenwood Lake and the Albert Wisner Public Library, located at 1 McFarland Dr. in Warwick, are collection locations. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to help.
Amber is working on earning her Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest honor a Cadette Girl Scout can achieve. She must make sure the good work is continued for at least five years, although she hopes that by making people aware of the issue, it will continue permanently.