Pillowcase Donation

From left are Apache Junction Police Department Officer Carl Halperin, Kathy Peltier, Robert Peltier, Annie Swanson, Barbara Teramoto and Dalia Robedeau.

APACHE JUNCTION — Kathy Peltier of HiWay Baptist Church made a significant donation to children in Apache Junction by way of the Police Department.

On occasion, the department has to facilitate, in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Child Safety, the temporary removal of children from an abusive home. Sometimes the events leading up to this unfortunate situation happen quickly and officers have to help the child rush to gather some of their things to take with them. Usually officers grab a trash bag and take as much of the child’s personal belongings as they can fit into the bag in a short amount of time.

According to Peltier, the act of throwing a kid’s toys and clothes into trash bags confuses the child and exacerbates the level of fear and uncertainty experienced by a child who is already going through a scary situation.

Peltier, who has served as a foster parent for several years, has experience in receiving these frightened and confused children in the middle of the night. She knows firsthand how traumatic it is for these children. First the child is traumatized by the abuse and then they are placed in an unfamiliar environment as a result at no fault of their own.

Peltier and the team at HiWay Baptist Church gathered close to 100 new pillowcases of various sizes and designs and then sewed a positive message on each pillowcase. The colorful pillowcases will be used as bags for these children to put their clothes and toys in while they are temporarily placed in foster care.

The colorful pillowcase bags are intended to minimize the trauma by allowing children a few minutes to pack up some of their things in their very own pillowcase bag, which they can take with them to wherever they may end up. The idea is to immediately start providing the child with some stability by giving them something that will last longer than a garbage bag.

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Jim Headley is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and justice around Pinal County. He can be reached at jheadley@pinalcentral.com.

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