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Agencies Collecting Suitcases, Bags For Foster Kids

Reported by: Send eMail Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Nov. 25, 2013 5:54 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 25, 2013 6:00 PM EST

Eyewitness News Photo
Eyewitness News Photo

Ona , Cabell County , West Virginia

There are at least 4,000 children and teens in West Virginia who are waiting on a "forever" home, and several groups are teaming up to make the transition before that a little more comforting.

Jake Ross, permanency social worker at Hovah Hall Underwood Children's Home in Ona, tells us they have fifteen beds that are usually full. "A lot of these kids are being removed from their homes for the very first times, and on top of saying oh you're not going to see your family for awhile, we're going to throw all your belongings into a trashbag, and it's a real hit on their self-esteem," he said.

The goal behind a new collaboration between the U.S. District Attorney's office, Mission West Virginia, and several other agencies is to put an end to those trash bag-type "suitcases".

"What we've found is just a small gesture at times will make all the difference in keeping a child on the right track," said Booth Goodwin, U. S. District Attorney.

It's called, the Carry-on Campaign, and the goal is to get donations of small suitcases and duffel bags the more than 4,000 foster kids in West Virginia can use during transitions.
They're tying it all in to Thanksgiving, and being grateful for even tthe smallest of gestures.

Carrie Dawson, public relations director with Mission West Virgina, said, "It's a time for us to reflect and be thankful for what we have in our life, and to think about those in need."

It can be a new or gently used bag, and they are also accepting personal care items like shampoo and toothpaste as well as, comfort items like stuffed animals and fuzzy blankets.

Ross said, "Anything you can do means a lot of us and a lot for our kids."

You can find out about what they're collecting and where you can drop it off here:
http://missionwv.org/



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