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Community members make 'Mental Health Bags' for Green Bay students

Mental health bags
Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 19:08:09-04

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — Abby Hatch had a mission: to create 50 'Mental Health Bags' to give to kids doing virtual school.

“I put it on Facebook and immediately people were like ‘What do you need? Where can I drop it? How can I get it to you?" she said.

The response was incredible, she said. With all the money and gift donations, she was able to put together 83 bags filled with different things for boys and girls like coloring books, face masks, finger skateboards, Play Doh and more.

“It was really cool to just see my community come together and to see what you can do by just doing something little," said Hatch.

Once the bags were together, social workers in the Green Bay Area Public School District like Dusti Evans started dropping them off for kids at their homes. The small bags send a big message, said Evans.

“The student that I already dropped one off for, she sent me an email, she’s like, ‘wow that was like not expected’, she’s like ‘you didn’t have to do that, Miss Evans,'" said Evans. "And I said, ‘I know, but I really care about you and I want to make you feel so loved and so cared for right now. We’re thinking of you during maybe a hard time that you’re going through and this is just a little bit of hope and to let you know that we’re still here.'"

Evans knows the bags can't replace the school activities kids miss.

“They’re missing out on their homecoming experience, they’re missing out on being able to walk the hallways with their friends and have that community," she said.

Hatch says that doesn't mean it's not worth trying to help.

“Each of us has the capacity to make a difference in somebody else’s life," she said. The world needs a lot of difference-makers right now.”

Although she came up with this idea, Hatch gives credit to people in the community who have taken it further.

“Other people have taken the idea and said ‘Oh! I’m going to do this for the nursing home,’ or ‘I’m going to do this for another group of people that are really isolated,'" she said.

People in the community were always willing to help, said Hatch. They just needed to know how they could.