JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The foster care system in Arkansas is a topic that hits close to home for Lauren Waldon.
"I was a foster kid," Waldon said. "I was put into foster care at the age of six."
Adopted by age 11, Waldon said her experience in the system wasn't bad thanks to loving foster parents.
However, she distinctly remembers her entry into the system.
"When you go into foster care, you're yanked from wherever you're at," Waldon said. "I was taken from school. I didn't get a coat, I didn't get my backpack. I didn't get any clothes from home."
Waldon said worst of all is what she was given was placed in a trash bag.
"That's just horrible that any kid would have to put their belongings in a trash bag," Waldon said.
Waldon, who will represent Greene County in Miss Arkansas International in April, said she wants to make sure what happened to her doesn't happen to other children.
Waldon recently started a fundraiser called "Comfort Kits for CASA."
Her goal is to collect 800 bags and necessity items for foster children.
"It's something to call theirs, especially in that kind of a time when you're frenzied and alone and feel lost," Waldon said. "It's something to call yours and I really want to give that to them."
Waldon said she hopes to win Miss Arkansas International so she can take her initiative statewide.
If you'd like to help in Lauren's mission, you can make your donations to Ima's on Fair Park Boulevard in Jonesboro.
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