NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Bravery backpacks, they are now being made for children in our area.

What are they, and how do they help vulnerable kids in need?

Bravery backpacks are a program the 31:8 Project offers to create support backpacks for children in need.

The 31:8 Project educates, advocates, and raises awareness to prevent human trafficking.

Founder and Executive Director, Stacy Schaffer tells us law enforcement came to them about the backpack program.

“Law enforcement came to us and they said you know sometimes we have to arrest a parent or guardian at night and unfortunately kids are waiting sometimes hours if not days for a placement,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer says anytime a kid is in a vulnerable state, they are at risk of human trafficking, which is why the project was eager to hop on board to assist.

But why a backpack?

“For some of these kids they literally have a grocery bag worth of stuff that they are able to leave with, so we want them to know that they are appreciated, and they are loved and that they have this other group out there that’s cheering them on,” she said.

“We work with youth to help put the backpacks together because as they’re putting those backpacks together, they get to learn about social media safety as well as human trafficking,” said Schaffer.

Schaffer says there has been an increase in requests for backpacks.

“So as school is starting, we’re just seeing that there is a need as these kids are coming back to school, they might be coming to school with nothing. And so, teachers are reaching out to different support services to reach out and say they can we utilize these backpacks because these kids are coming to school with nothing,” Schaffer explained.

Schaffer says the backpacks are not just given by law enforcement, but by social services, schools, and even EMTs who are helping those in vulnerable situations.

This weekend on KX news, we will share the history and why the 31:8 Project was founded.

We will also report the new initiatives in place and tips to keep students safe as school is starting.

If you or someone you know needs a bravery backpack, visit their website.