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Kent police collect sleeping bags, stuffed animals and more for children in crisis

Community members and businesses donated dozens of items to Kent Police Department to help comfort children who end up at the station in difficult situations.

KENT, Wash — A sad family situation resulted in an outpouring of support from Kent community members and businesses, all donating sleeping bags, backpacks and other items to help children get through a crisis.

On Feb. 3, the Kent Police Department picked up children who were reported abandoned in the middle of the night, said Assistant Chief Jarod Kasner.

While waiting for Child Protective Services, Kasner said the police bought the kids food and gave them safe spot to sleep on the floor of the lunchroom in the police station.

The police department posted a photo of the sleeping children on its Facebook page to share the often challenging situations that police officers face when children are in crisis.

“In the early hours of the morning, our lunchroom is unfortunately sometimes a place for children in crisis to rest. We give them a snack, a place to be safe, and caretake them as long as it takes until their caseworker arrived. We are privileged to take care of our most vulnerable, while wishing it wasn’t necessary,” the post read.

To help make that transition period before a caseworker arrives more comfortable for children, the police department organized a donation event for items like blankets, pillows and sleeping bags. The department received much more.

A three-hour drop-off event on Wednesday resulted in a massive collection of new items beyond the original ask. People and businesses also donated backpacks and stuffed animals to help kids in crisis.

The swell of support now fills half of the City’s Council Chambers.

“It’s the kind of problem we are lucky have,” Kasner said.

The donation event was so successful that the Kent Police Department says they are going to share the love and distribute some of the donations to other community organizations.