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Virginia Teen Collects Comfort Items to Help Victims of Child Abuse

NBC Washington D.C. logo NBC Washington D.C. 6/11/2021 Derrick Ward
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A Virginia teen who was a victim of child abuse distributed over 100 bags full of comfort items to other abuse victims.

Kate Colley started the My Bag Project to make kids feel more grounded as they cope with their trauma. The bags contain items to help them heal and recover, including toiletries and stuffed animals.

Colley and her mother began by distributing 20 bags; they have since handed out 140.

As the project grew, Colley enlisted the help of Winchester police Sgt. Frank Myrtle to distribute the bags to children in need.

Myrtle, who handled Colley’s child abuse case in 2007 when she was 4 years old, has been a friend of the family since.

“I’ve worked numerous cases throughout my career. This is one that does stick with me,” said Myrtle of Colley’s case, one of his first. “We have to be the voice for the children at those times.”

Colley said she was scared of everything as a child, attached to her mother’s thigh at all times. She was given a bag that contained comfort items, a simple gesture that meant much to Colley in her time of need.

“I always knew she was going to do great things,” said Kristie Colley, Kate’s mother. “We had this little hiccup we had to get past.”

The idea for the project grew from the adversity that brought Myrtle and the Colleys together. The Winchester Police Department has accepted some of the bags that have been put together so far.

“When we started doing it, I realized how heartwarming it was to give out and help more people,” Colley said.

To help, email TheMyBagProject@gmail.com.

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