The Haines Children’s Center in Dayton, Ohio has received a generous donation of fifty brand new suitcases to help foster children have an easier experience when moving or relocating, according to WHIO. The donations came from Carrlo and Kendra Heard who credited obtaining the suitcases to the support of the members of their congregation at Omega Baptist Church. Kendra shared that the most important aspect of the donation of the suitcases is the impact it makes on the children, letting them know that they are thought of and loved.
According to WHIO, there are more than “600 Montgomery County children in foster care at any given time,” and “uprooting” is something many of the children face consistently. As the children move from house to house, they carry their items in trash bags, and the Heard’s wanted to make their experience a little better. Calling them “suitcases of hope,” the suitcases allow the foster children to now have “dignity as they’re transitioning in and out of homes,” Kendra said.
Each suitcase arrived filled with personal care items and hygiene products for the children who would then fill it with their own clothes and belongings when the time came to move. Having a safe place to keep their items means a lot as the trash bags and paper garbage bags did not allow for organized packing like suitcases do, and could easily break. Kendra explained that it is easy to take for granted the items we have at a moment’s need, such as a suitcase, and reminds people of the importance of gratitude and sharing it with others.
With the church’s support, the Heard’s were able to give numerous gifts to the children at the Haines Children’s Center. Not only did they give the children their own suitcases, the Heard’s and their congregation reminded them that they are cared about and not forgotten, which is ultimately the greatest gift of all. Now, when the foster children need to move, they have a place to safely keep their belongings and can travel with dignity and hope.