Julie Steinberg was just one of 28 members of Optum Community Center who customized duffle bags with personal messages for kids in foster care last month (submitted photo).

More than 28 members of Optum Community Center made 50 custom duffel bags for youth in foster care in September. The project, called “Optum Grand Bags,” was a way for the members, almost all of whom are grandparents themselves, to recognize Grandparents Day, with a special grandparent’s gesture for kids whose lives have been disrupted.

When members learned that many youths in foster care don’t have a way to transport their personal items, they wanted to create a special “carrier” just for them. The duffel bags were customized and painted with care and included a special message from each maker. The bags were donated to Southwest Human Development, who will distribute them to youth in their foster care program.

“I really hope that when the kids receive their bag, they feel support from the greater community, and know that while they may not know their own grandparents, there is a community of grandparents surrounding them with love, encouragement and just general advice to be able to help guide them, just like they would guide their own grandchildren,” said Benjamin Brock, Optum Community Center.

Optum Central Phoenix Community Center is located at 1125 E. Glendale Ave. For more information, visit www.optum.com.


Hello, North Central neighbor — thank you for visiting!

Sign up to receive our digital issue in your inbox each month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.