Foster kids give back to the system

POSTED: 12:25 AM Dec 21 2013   UPDATED: 2:46 PM Dec 20 2013
backpack program
SCOTT COUNTY, Va. -

The true spirit of the holidays is about giving back. Friday, some teens in southwest Virginia got to do just that, and some of them may be feeling that spirit for the first time.

We sat down with a young man who was willing to share his story. We've chosen to respect the teen's privacy and not release his name, but he knows what he's talking about as he's been through the foster system.

He told us most kids come into the system with nothing, and often in the middle of the night. He says he's been in foster care most of his whole life, since he was just three years old.

Jon Holmes runs the VALUES program for Frontier Health. It's a foster program that works to keep kids in the communities they came from.

This holiday season he's teaching kids a new skill -- giving back to the system that has already helped them so much.

About 15 teens are filling backpacks with much-needed supplies like blankets and school supplies. The backpacks will be given to new kids entering foster care for the first time.

Social service agencies in southwest Virginia will keep the backpacks on hand, because they never know when a child might need one.

Darlene Lawson with Wise County Social Services tells us it helps to have the backpacks already filled with things the kids need to go to school the next day.

The VALUES program is still collecting supplies so they can continue the program throughout the year. You can make a donation by contacting values staff at 888-443-1804.