TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - When you use meth, and get caught you lose it all. But it's not a statement just for the user.
It's a statement for the user's family. Many times, police bust meth operations with kids in the home.
And the kids lose everything. But there's a program helping them get back to a better life.
They are scenes like this: Police lights, someone in handcuffs. Paraphernalia, perhaps -- pipes, plumbing pieces -- anything can be used to make meth.
Later, a mug-shot -- and criminal charges. It's a pretty standard story - although sad - there's another story that's not often told.
"As we come in guns drawn not knowing the baby is there, he's holding the baby between himself and our self as a shield - using the baby as a human shield between us and himself," said Rob Gambill, chief deputy for the Clay County Sheriff's Department. "2, 3, 4 or more children in the house - sometimes these families combine and bring several children into a home where this meth is being produced."
And it's not just the parents who lose everything. The kids, lose it all too.
"Some of these kids they don't have very much of anything -- every resource that some of these families have that are making meth goes to furthering the manufacturing of making meth children have very few toys - the clothes they wear don't fit -- ya know some of them don't have shoes," Gambill said.
Meth residue stains clothes, and toys. Children can't pick up the pieces after meth ruins it all.
And that's where this group comes in.
"We're putting together bags -- comfort bags basically to be given to kids who have been taken out of homes where there have been meth or other problems," said Charles Parks, Realtors Association.
The Terre Haute Realtors Association is a group that's helping kids get their lives back. Organizers say you can't blame kids for parent's actions.
"So when they find themselves alone and out of their house they have a blanket they can hold onto a stuffed animal that they can hold and it works out real good," Parks said.
Something, Gambill agrees on.
"Ya know their own pair of shoes, their own pair of socks," Gambill said. "Something of that nature is big to these kids."
The Realtors Association puts the bags together and gives them to the Department of Child Services. From there, the bags are given to kids in need.
On Monday the group put together 90 bags.
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