Columbia, SC (WLTX)- May is National Foster Care Month, and to promote awareness, Collins & Lacy, P.C. is again teaming up with the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program (SCYAP), to host a statewide item collection drive for the organization’s Precious Cargo program.

Precious Cargo is a program developed by SCYAP to provide stuffed duffle bags to foster children the day they enter the organization’s care. The duffle bags contain new basic toiletries, school supplies, and comfort items such as a stuffed animal and blanket. The bags are prepared for specific age groups and separated by male and female, so they are personalized for each child.

During the month of May, Collins & Lacy will be accepting donations for Precious Cargo in the firm’s Columbia and Myrtle Beach offices. The community is asked to donate unused items to help fill the duffel bags, such as soap, toothbrushes, tissues, coloring books, and pencils. Find a complete list of needed items here.

All donations can be dropped off at the Collins & Lacy offices during the month of May, between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

“Last year was our first year to team up with SCYAP and host this collection, and through both employee and community donations, we were able to fill over 50 duffle bags and give a feeling of ‘home’ to these children,” said Christian Boesl, Collins & Lacy shareholder. “We were touched by the community’s response then and hope to make just as big of an impact this year.”

“SCYAP distributes over 500 Precious Cargo bags to foster children every year and it is a special moment for each child when they receive their bag,” said Gail Cole, Development Liaison with SCYAP. “The stuffed animal is immediately brought out for a hug and then the child usually asks if it is all really just for them. They cannot believe it, and often it is the first time we have seen them smile all day."