Hunter Beaton, President and CEO of Day-One Bags, headquartered in Boerne, spoke to the Bandera County Republican Women’s Club (BCRW) on August 5.
Beaton’s organization which began its life as Beaton’s Eagle Scout project.
The mission of Day-One Bags is to provide new duffle bags and backpacks to foster youth (instead of trash bags) in which to carry their belongings when being removed from their homes or moved from shelter to shelter.
These new bags support the organization’s motto: Dignity, Not Trash.
The project began with a goal to distribute 100 bags in Kendall County to foster children and has since expanded to include other Texas counties and 24 states.
Bandera County has 52 foster children residing in its boundaries. There are almost 25,000 foster children in the state of Texas. Eight thousand children entered the foster care system in 2021.
After completing the Eagle Scout project, Beaton chose to continue his work with foster children and youth by creating a non-profit charitable organization. In addition to providing backpacks and duffle bags,
Day-One Bags also provides older youth with document bags in which to store and protect their important papers like birth certificates and social security cards.
The program has expanded to provide police with bags of toys for all age groups when children are encountered at a crime scene. A toy can help to distract a child being removed from a crime scene.
Beaton’s organization also assists older youth who exit the foster care system at age 18, supporting a post-highschool work study program and a support program for college age former foster students.
Only three percent of foster children attend college and only one percent of those students graduate.
Beaton’s philosophy is to make each foster child feel loved and cared for by preserving their dignity.
The bags given to foster children have a lifetime warranty. Foster kids may turn them in for a new bag if they wear out. The bags are purchased new from Flying Circle Gear in Boerne at a nominal price.
BCRW President Carolyn Rutherford introduced local officials present at the meeting: Tandy and Bo Mansfield, Jordan Rutherford, Lynn Hold and Beverly Schmidt.
Weston Martinez, who is running for Texas Land Commissioner, spoke to the group about his plans for the state campaign.
First Vice President Dede Skoglund spoke about the activities on the calendar and encouraged members to sign up to participate.
Legislative VP Susan Junker gave a report on the Special Legislative Sessions in Austin.
Melanie Burns, Membership VP, introduced guests to the group and spoke about her efforts to locate and secure a possible headquarters for the club.
Janeen Irrgang, chair of the Millie Radar Memorial Scholarship, asked for volunteers to serve on the committee. She indicated that the group would meet at the end of September to begin this year’s process.
President Carolyn Rutherford reminded the members present about the Bandera Market Days booth manned by the Republican Women beginning on the first Saturday of the month.
She also notified the group that the Lakehills Community Days would begin on the last Saturday of October this year. September Community Days would be held in conjunction with the Cajun Fest. The group voted to approve the registration fee of $75 for a booth on that weekend.
State Representative Andrew Muir, or one of his staff, has been secured as the speaker for the September 2 meeting.