'Buddy Bags' program expands across the Fox Valley

The Buddy Bag program delivers bags to the Appleton Police Department, June 4, 2018. (WLUK)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- The "Buddy Bags" program is expanding.

Students from Flex Academy presented 1,540 bags to the Appleton Police Department Monday.

The bags will be distributed to nine police and sheriff's departments in the Fox Valley.

The bags contain an age-appropriate book, coloring book, crayons and a stuffed animal.

The bags are kept inside squad cars to help soothe young kids who have been involved in or witnessed a stressful event.

Officials say the bags allow them to create a relationship with the kids.

"These kind of things, really in a lot of cases, help us break down those barriers to communication just by extending that gift; giving them something helps us to, in some cases, gather information," said Appleton Police Sgt. Dave Lund.

The "Buddy Bag" program which now extends across Northeast Wisconsin began as a collaboration among Appleton Police, Flex Academy and the Heart of the Valley YMCA.

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