Author, Podcaster, and Thibodaux native Jessica Rebstock is an advocate for women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. Rebstock previously worked with The Haven, collecting personal hygiene items, clothing, and monetary donations for women and families, and she was inspired to launch “The Bag of Sunshine” project to provide items for children more specifically.
Rebstock shared “I know the process of children being taken away from their home with only the clothes on their backs can be traumatic and bring on a level of stress for these children that they should not have to endure.”
“Bags of Sunshine” backpacks are stocked with warmth, love, and fun including arts and crafts activities such as coloring books, colored pencils, stuffed animals, and blankets.
When asked what inspired the items that would be included Rebstock shared “I felt like coloring books and pencils would be a good way for them to take their mind off of what was taking place – there’s something so soothing about coloring. Also, I wanted them to have a “lovie” or stuffed animal that they could hold on to and embrace, especially if their parents would not be present. It would just be something for them to hold onto.”
After sharing the idea with her mother Kristie, they agreed on the name “Bag of Sunshine” and began to work on the care packages. Rebstock received an outpour of support from the community raising nearly $500 in monetary donations “The people in our community have fully embraced this project and it warms my heart to think of how supported these children are in our community.”
Rebstock’s goal is to deliver 50 Bags of Sunshine to LPSO on Wednesday, December 1. “My goal is to not only serve the children in this parish but surrounding parishes as well.”
Rebstock is currently accepting monetary donations, coloring books, coloring pencils, stuffed animals, and blankets by December 1.