UPDATE: 12/5/13 8:15 PM
They're making sure that garbage bags are no longer an acceptable method of carrying belongings for foster kids – with the Carry On Campaign.
"These are children that really, really need to know that their communities are out there and support them and love them and want to see them do well,” says Carrie Dawson, public relations director for Mission West Virginia, the organizer of the campaign. Dawson started it three years ago when she saw the need.
The Mountain State shows it cares.
"The outpouring of support that West Virginians have shown has been really unprecedented, but the need is always there,” says R. Booth Goodwin, United States Attorney for West Virginia.
Some inmates have great interest in the program..
"We're honored and privileged that we can partner with this effort and to be of some small assistance to our correctional industries program,” says West Virginia Division of Corrections Commissioner, Jim Rubenstein.
Children's Home Society is a drop-off location for this statewide project and you can also make a donation by dialing 1-866-CALL-MWV, (that's 1-866-225-5698) to be linked with a partner organization.
"We focused around this time period because this is a time when people are giving thanks, giving back. But I do want to emphasize the need really is year-round,” Goodwin says.
There are about 4,000 children in foster care in West Virginia.
"While we're always trying to recruit more families to foster or to possibly adopt children that are waiting for a forever family, there are lots of other ways you can help out kids in foster care,” Dawson says. “So this is a really great service project for anyone who wants to volunteer to help out kids."
Helping this way is a start.
"Because we see it even much broader if we're going to break the cycle of abuse. We're going to be able to provide some bags for the carry on as well as blankets,” Rubenstein says.
The bags are what they need the most.
Dawson says sturdy suitcases that will last and hold up to a child's use, as well as duffel bags with zips or latches to make sure they close securely.
"Duffel bags are great because (it helps) child protective workers who are going out and getting these kids out of these homes,” Goodwin says. “These kids need luggage; they also need to know that people care."
The drive started out as a way to collect gently used and brand new luggage and get it to foster kids who are making that transition.
The Carry On Campaign came up with an acceptable method of carrying belongings for foster kids.
R. Booth Goodwin, United States attorney for West Virginia, says often kids are taken from homes and moved into foster care and garbage bags are the only thing they have to put their belongings in.
He says this drive started out as a way to collect gently used and brand new luggage luggage and get them to foster kids who are making that transition.
"We're here at the Children's Home Society -- the Children's Home Society is a drop-off location; this is a statewide project and the need is everyday," Goodwin says. "But we focused around this time period because this is a time when people are giving thanks, giving back. But I do want to emphasize the need really is year-round."
He says the outpouring of support from West Virginians is unprecedented.
Bags are what they need the most and duffel bags are great because they help child protective workers getting kids out of homes.