What We Do

Beloved has been working to support children in our community since the fall of 2017, distributing our first duffel bags in late 2018. Since then, we have distributed more than 6,000 new Beloved Bags filled with items designed to meet the immediate physical and emotional needs of kids in crisis.  We have also delivered hundreds of multicultural hair care kits, feminine hygiene kits, and birthday celebration kits, ensuring that displaced kids have materials to care for their own unique needs and experience the joy of purposeful celebration.  Over the years, we have been able to extend our support services to several Indiana counties.  During this past year, we more than doubled the number of children reached with the message of dignity and care conveyed by the supplies that we provide.  Beloved currently serves Bartholomew, Jackson, Johnson, Jennings, Shelby, and Marion counties, in addition to providing supplies to displaced kids in domestic violence shelters (like Coburn Place and Turning Point), juvenile shelters, and triage foster homes (like Isaiah 117 houses and New Song Mission).

Keep scrolling to learn more about our various paths to support for children in crisis.  Keep scrolling to learn more about our various paths to support for children in crisis.  


 Beloved Bags  

The Beloved Bag is the primary vehicle offered by Beloved to convey the message of dignity and worth to kids in crisis.  When children are removed from a dangerous circumstance, they often come into the care of social services with no personal belongings.  When they do assemble items to retain, they are traditionally provided with a garbage bag in which they carry their few possessions to the foster or transitional care home.  Unfortunately, many children in foster care identify that garbage bag as a symbol of their feelings of worthlessness, describing disruption as the moment they were “thrown away” or the moment they knew they were “trash.”  By replacing that garbage bag with a new, high-quality duffle bag, we replace that lie of worthlessness with the truth that every child is valuable and Beloved.  Beloved Bags contain the following gender-neutral items:

Teen Bag: (Ages 10-18)
Toiletry Kit:  Body Wash, Shampoo, Conditioner, Hairbrush, Loofah/Washcloth, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Deodorant
Fidget Item
A Teen-friendly book (Ranging from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
A laundry bag or extra backpack for transporting additional items

Child Bag -- (Ages 3-9)
Toiletry Kit:  Body Wash, Shampoo, Conditioner, Hairbrush, Loofah/Washcloth, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Multi-ethnic Hair care items (see below for further explanation)
Coloring Book
Stuffed Animal
Picture Book
Laundry Bag or extra backpack

Infant Bag -- (Ages 0-2)
Toiletry Kit: Diaper Cream, Baby Wash, Baby Shampoo, Baby Lotion
Coloring Book
Stuffed Animal
Board Book

Each bag also contains a hand-written card with the message:

Dear Friend,

This bag and everything inside of it belongs to you.  We pray that you are safe, protected, and that you know that you are not alone.    

Your Friends at Beloved


Multicultural Hair Care Kits -- 

While hygiene is an important component of dignity for all children, the particular personal care needs of black and multi-racial kids require specific tools and supplies.  In order to ensure that displaced and vulnerable children with a variety of needs have the supplies necessary for maintaining healthy and culturally relevant hygiene, Beloved has created multicultural care kits.  These kits include affordable, readily-available supplies along with an instructional guide to support children and caregivers who may not have received instruction or mentorship in appropriate hair and skin care,   Social workers and case representatives in Bartholomew and surrounding counties will determine the most appropriate method of distribution, making certain that children who would most benefit from the kits will be fully equipped for self-care that affirms their inherent dignity and inestimable worth.  

Satin Pillowcase
Cloth Toiletry Bag
Shampoo -- Olive Oil (ORS)
Conditioner -- Olive Oil (ORS)
Leave-in Cream -- Aunt Jackie’s 
Gel -- Eco Styler 
Spray -- Cream of Nature 
Scalp oil -- SBN Hair Love
Sealing Oil -- Via Naturals
Sleep Cap
Do Rag
Comb -- Wide Tooth
Brush -- Wet Magic
Lotion -- Shea butter/Cocoa Butter
Instruction Card (see below)

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Birthday Celebration Kits:
We believe that every child is worth celebrating!  To help equip social workers to support families in providing that celebration during times of crisis and transition, Beloved offers Birthday Celebration Kits.  Each celebration kit includes:

Cake mix
Can of soda (which replaces eggs, oil, and milk, so that no additional items are needed to make the cake)
Party plates
Plastic forks
Fun napkins
Birthday banner
Disposable cake pan


Feminine Hygiene Kits:
One of the most pressing hygiene issues for adolescent girls displaced by crisis is menstrual care.  The items in this kit supply girls with dignity-affirming support along with a few fun self-care extras.

Cosmetic bag
Menstrual pads
Panty liners
Hygienic cleansing wipes
Lip balm
Lip Gloss
Hair ties
Hand lotion
Body Spray

 Snack Tables

Children often enter the care of DCS case managers hungry, due to long-term neglect.  In order to provide food on these occasions, social workers must draw upon their own individual resources to purchase fast food or pick up a snack.  Snacks and meals are also required for supervised visits with biological parents at the DCS office, and if the parent doesn’t arrive with sufficient food, those visits are routinely canceled.  One of our board members recalls an instance when her two toddler foster placements dressed up in anticipation of a rare visit with their bio mom at the DCS office.  Their mom arrived with all of the supplies to make biscuits and gravy.  Because the office didn’t have a facility to prepare the meal, the visit was canceled, creating additional trauma for those precious kids.  When we learned of these situations, Beloved volunteered to provide shelf-stable supplies suitable to stave off hunger or build a last-minute meal.  We are honored to equip several DCS offices with snacks and small meal items each month.  We also provide several snacks geared toward the overworked social services staff.  (The more we care for the people who care for the kids, the better the care of the kids!)  This support project also offers community members, church groups, and social clubs a great way to connect with the work of supporting vulnerable kids!  Every county that we serve has a county coordinator who works hard to fill a calendar with 12 groups willing to purchase items for their local DCS office.  Once a month, the coordinator connects with the volunteer group and arranges for a delivery that feeds kids in crisis and ensures that missing snacks are not a reason to miss a supervised family visit. 


Whale of a Sale

For the past two years, Beloved has paid for the purchases of all foster and kinship care families at Bartholomew County’s biannual Whale of a Sale event, a kid-focused resale weekend.  At this event, families are able to purchase clothing, games, toys, baby gear, and other fun support items at garage sale prices, and we pick up the tab.   It has been an honor and a joy to support families in this way!  

Because Indiana foster families receive $200 for clothing for the entire duration of a child’s foster care stay (stays which often last for 1-2 years), our contribution makes a meaningful difference, and we were grateful to see the profound happiness of kids who were able to shop freely and choose clothing from the racks that they liked.  Because families from all over the state found the opportunity helpful, Beloved ended up spending about $30,000 at the 2023 spring event and about $40,000 in the fall.  Although those numbers are far larger than the 2022 amounts, they still represent only about $92 per child.  The Whale of a Sale event is one of the ways that we invested in affirming the dignity of vulnerable kids.  


 Foster/Kinship Care Day in the Park

One of our very favorite days each year is the annual Foster/Kinship Care Day in the Park!  Each year, Beloved invites all foster and kinship care families to a celebration event, complete with entertainment, food, and all kinds of family-friendly fun.  We also invite area agencies that serve caregivers and vulnerable kids, creating a kind of living directory of programs that offer support and encouragement to families that desperately need both.  Families leave with a gift basket door prize, a professional family photo, and lots of connections within our community.  We host this event in a Bartholomew County Park, but families from across the state are welcome to attend.


Playroom Renovations
Because we are a small, agile organization, we are often able to tackle projects very quickly and accomplish goals efficiently.  In 2022, we received requests from Bartholomew County and Jackson County DCS offices to remodel their playroom spaces.  Playrooms at DCS offices are utilized for triage of displaced children during the hours that a social worker spends securing a safe foster or kinship care home.  It also hosts supervised visits for separated family members.  The conditions of these rooms, where children often spent hours or even days during traumatic transitions, called for our immediate action.  

Bartholomew County:

The Bartholomew County playroom was completely renovated by a high school student project manager acting on behalf of and supported by Beloved.  Additionally, Beloved renovated a large storage area and an observation room.  Below are some pictures of that profound transformation.

Bartholomew 1

Jackson County:

In Jackson County, Beloved renovated two playrooms and an observation room.  Below are before and after photos showing the transformation in Jackson County.  Certainly, this change will impact the quality of parent-child engagement at supervised visits and the comfort of children facing the trauma of displacement.  

Jackson 1

Jackson 2

Marion County South:

During the summer of 2023, we received a request to support the DCS office on the south side of Marion County.  In addition to supplying the office with Beloved Bags, multicultural hair care kits, feminine hygiene kits, and birthday celebration kits, Beloved was asked to renovate teen and child playrooms.  In the Marion County offices, these playrooms serve a greater number of children for longer periods of time than those situated in smaller counties.  Often, children whose age or background make placement challenging will reside in the playroom for days or even weeks at a time.  As such, the condition of the playrooms in these offices has a profound impact on the well-being of vulnerable children in the care of the Department of Child Services.  Below are some before and after pictures of the child and teen playrooms in Marion County’s south office.

Marion 1

Marion 2

Jennings County:

During August and September of 2023, our renovation efforts shifted toward the DCS office in Jennings County, where widespread addiction and economic instability bring a palpable sense of urgency to the care of vulnerable kids.  After ensuring that their office was fully stocked with triage supplies, our renovation director went to work upgrading the playroom and conference room at their central office.  The design of the space accounted for its multi-age platform and took into consideration the requests of on-site social workers.  It is our sincere hope that these spaces will provide a more welcoming, supportive environment for children facing the crisis of disruption or the inherent challenges of supervised visitation.

Jennings 1


Jennings 2

Johnson County:

2024 started off with a wonderful playroom renovation!  Beloved volunteers were delighted to support the Johnson County DCS office and the children who find respite there by updating and upgrading their rest and recreation space.  The project lead did a fabulous job dividing a single large space into usable areas for teens, toddlers, and family visitation meetings.  

Johnson 1

Johnson 2