Club Chronicles: Book Lovers Study Club encourages suitcase donations to DHR

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start thinking about cleaning out the closets and getting rid of things you don’t need.

If you are getting rid of any kind of luggage, clean it up and drop it off at your local foster care agency.

The youth in foster care are often required to pack and carry their personal belongings in garbage bags when navigating through the foster care system. Your donation can change that.

Entering the foster care system can be an extremely traumatic experience for a young child or teen. In addition to being removed from their biological parents or family, they’re often required to quickly pack their personal belongings in one or two trash bags. It’s important to maintain a child’s sense of dignity and self-worth and also provide them with a reliable form of transportation for their items.

Changing from a trash bag to a suitcase can help improve the self-esteem of the children.

Social services do not have the financial means to purchase suitcases or duffel bags to pack a child’s meager belongings before being brought to a foster home. If they do not have any donated duffel bags/suitcases, social services must use trash bags.

It is horrific enough that a child has been abused or neglected, but then to have all of his or her belongings placed into trash bags places a feeling of worthlessness on the child.

Here are tips for donating luggage:

  • Clean your suitcase before donating.
  • Make sure to empty out any personal items from all compartments.
  • Place clothes or blankets you’d also like to donate inside the suitcase.
  • Pack it with a few overnight essentials like toothpaste, a toothbrush and a teddy bear.

As a project, GFWC Book Lovers Study Club members have selected to support the local Franklin County DHR’s needs for suitcases for foster children.

Passing your suitcases on to a needy foster child can help change their world. Just leave the luggage at the door of the DHR building, located at 737 County Road 48 at the old coliseum and fairgrounds location.

This donation will help a child and is a way to recycle instead of adding to the landfills.