Comfort for Drug Endangered Children


Danielle Schalinske, Buffalo County Human Services social worker, and Deputy Mike Osmond of the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Department speak with members of Hill & Hollow 4-H club about their roles on the Drug Endangered Children Team.

The 2016 Buffalo County 4-H Countywide Service-Learning Project is to support drug endangered children who are removed from their homes in partnership with child protective services and law enforcement by providing infants, children and teenagers with a comfort bag. The 4-H Leaders’ Association is challenging every 4-H Club in Buffalo County to get on board and actively participate in this year’s countywide service-learning project in their own way.

2016 Buffalo County 4-H Countywide Service Learning Project Guide



The goals of our service-learning project are:
· Work together within 4-H clubs and across Buffalo County
· Develop new 4-H project skills
· Perform community service to meet a local community need
· Strengthen leadership skills and youth-adult partnerships
· Show empathy (compassion) for others


Countywide Service-Learning Working Calendar:

November 2015 – 4-H Leaders discuss service-learning projects and
select project with most opportunity to meet 4-H goals and DEC needs

December 2015 – DEC project officially launches; 4-H Clubs are provided
with Service-Learning Guide and begin work in their own clubs

January 2016– 4-H Clubs will learn more about DEC and the unique needs
of drug endangered children then make plans for participating in countywide service-learning project

February 2016 – April 2016 – 4-H clubs will conduct service projects working in partnership between youth and adults.

 April 2016 – June 2016 – 4-H youth and adults will have opportunities to hear from DEC members at 4-H clubs or on a countywide basis

June 2016 – August 2016 – 4-H clubs will turn in products and complete reflections equaling 50 comfort bags countywide

September 2016 – 4-H Leaders Association will host media campaign about the success of our efforts with DEC and the learning that took place as a result of our actions


 Information for developing DEC Comfort Bags:

  • Our goal of 50 bags total countywide (approximately 4 per club)
  • Encouraged to have one or more of the items be handmade
  • Remember we need comfort bags for a variety of ages (infant to teenager) so include comfort books and toys for a large spectrum of developmental needs
  • Items should be of interest to young people and either be new or modern handmade
  • Keep in mind that drug endangered children are stripped of all the belongings that make them feel safe and comfortable and are likely going to live in a new home and possibly a new school. Remember to include items that can help them feel calm and important.
  • This is a link to Annie Lisowski’s Pinterest page called “Service Learning DEC Comfort Bags” with pre-approved ideas (cinch sack patterns, bookmarks, sock monkeys, pillow designs and more) for the comfort bags.


  • Each Comfort Bag Should Contain the Following as Outlined:

    • Cinch sack, tote with closure, or backpack
    • Pillow and/or blanket
    • Stuffed animal or special pillow
    • New book and handmade bookmark
    • Coloring book and crayons, crossword puzzle book with neat pen and/or mini-game
    • Special non-perishable treat (gum, toddler cereal, lifesaver gummies, etc.)
    • Unique personal item(s) (lip balm, nail polish, small Kleenex, etc.) (Not toothbrush and toothpaste as these have already been secured from Midwest Dental)
    • Optional: homemade scarf, hat, socks or other personal item (not shoes or clothing)
    • $25 for shoes and clothes (monetary contribution only as these items need to be new and individualized for each youth) Checks can be made out to Buffalo County 4-H Leaders and will be distributed to DEC at the end of the project.
    • Special note from one child to another
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