Cool Kid Julian Sotelo makes care packages for foster kids

CASTAIC, Calif. (KABC) -- One by one, young volunteers are spending hours putting together important care packages in Castaic.

It's a mission organized by 17-year-old Boy Scout Julian Sotelo.

"We'll be assembling 100 duffle bags with personal items such as clothes, toiletries and a handmade fleece blanket," Sotelo said.

Each bag will be given to teens placed into the foster care system.

The Trinity Classical Academy senior said oftentimes foster kids are suddenly taken from their homes and forced to throw their belongings into a plastic trash bag.

"A lot of teenagers, they're very self-conscious of what people might think about them, and having to carry around a trash bag would definitely be a problem," Sotelo said.

With the help of his family and the nonprofit "Hope in a Suitcase," Sotelo spent a year collecting donations to fill 100 duffle bags.

"He wants to continue to do more," said his mother, Michele. "I just think -- you know, as a Mom -- I couldn't be prouder."

"He's gone from an 11-year-old, not really knowing how to do anything, to a young man you see behind you right now leading a project that's really going to benefit our community," said Sotelo's Boy Scout Master Jim McGrory.

With each blanket measured and cut, knot tied and bag filled, Sotelo hopes kids going through a tough time know there are others out there who care.

"If we can just make one teen's life a little better with this duffle bag, this project will be a success."
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