Annie Wignall, Care Bags Foundation Interview
Annie Wignall is an Iowa teen who founded the Care Bags Foundation when she was just 11 years old! Care Bags is a non-profit, charitable organization that fills hand-sewn bags with items such as soap and shampoo, and sends them to kids and teens who have had to flee their homes. Learn more about this kind-hearted 17 year-old, who's always willing to lend a helping hand.
Sindy: So tell me about yourself, like your personality, hobbies, stuff like that.
Annie: I think I'm pretty outgoing. I enjoy being around my friends. I enjoy playing soccer, singing, the theatre, and I enjoy babysitting. I love to babysit because I love kids.
Sindy: How did you come up with the idea for the Care Bags Foundation?
Annie: My mom is a child abuse prevention educator. She was at a meeting one day and she came home and told me that there were a lot of kids who had to leave their homes without any of their own belongings. So I thought about it and put myself in their shoes and thought how it would be like not to have my own toothbrush when I left my house, so it kind of evolved from there. I was yelling out ideas to my mom from bed that night, and we just came up with the idea of Care Bags and contacted agencies and businesses to see if they could help us out.
Sindy: Was it hard to get the organization up and running?
Annie: People were very supportive of it when we first started, and still are. So it wasn't really that hard. People really believed that it could happen and made it happen.
Sindy: What's the main goal for Care Bags?
Annie: To put a smile on the faces of children and make their day brighter.
Sindy: What do you put in your Care Bags?
Annie: We put in age-appropriate items and essential things like soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste - things that they would need. And depending on their age, like for babies, we put diapers and bibs and blankets. For teens, we have journals and cards. For the middle-age group, we have Hot Wheels for boys, or jump ropes.
Sindy: Do you distribute your Care Bags to kids in North America, or all around the world?
Annie: They go all around the world.
Sindy: How many kids have received Care Bags since the organization began?
Annie: Over 7,000.
Sindy: How can kids and teens get involved with helping out with Care Bags?
Annie: There's a lot of ways they can get involved. If you're close, you can help fill Care Bags. You can donate items, anything new (but not food), or money. We always need people to sew blankets for the babies, and bags because all the Care Bags are sewn. Or you can start your own project like Care Bags. We have a Care Bags Starter Kit that gets people started on helping kids in their town.