ROGERS, N.D. (AP) — Representatives say a project that provides backpacks to abused or neglected children entering the social services system has served more than 16,000 children in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota since its launch in 2008.

KOVC-AM reports Project Ignite Light founder Pebbles Thompson says the backpacks are called “Bags of Hope.” The bags include fleece tie blankets, pajamas, toothbrushes, books, flashlights, shampoo and other items.

Thompson says the project serves victims of extreme child abuse who are taken to child advocacy centers. The group aims to provide the children with the things they will need if they are not returning home.

Almost 4,000 cases of child abuse and neglect were reported in North Dakota in 2017.

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