Four area courts are collecting new or slightly used suitcases, duffle bags and backpacks for children moving through the foster care system.
Luggage donations can be dropped off at the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeal (410 Royal St.), marked to the attention of Judge Max Tobias. (The duffle bags and backpacks should be large.)
Judges for the Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, the 25th Judicial District Court for Plaquemines Parish and the 34th Judicial District Court for St. Bernard Parish came up with the program after observing that children moving into new foster homes generally have to carry their belongings in garbage bags, which the judges say is demeaning. Some of the children remain in the foster care system for years and move several times.
“It is bad enough for a child to leave everything he or she knows and loves, but then to have all their belongings placed into a trashbag places a feeling of worthlessness on top of it all,” 4th Circuit Chief Judge Charles R. Jones said in a news release announcing the program.
Organizers of Suitcases for Foster Kids hope individuals, community groups, businesses and service organizations will join the effort. The luggage will be distributed to courts in Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes, which will get the bags into the hands of foster children who need them. Any extras will be distributed to foster kids elsewhere in Louisiana.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tobias at 412-6072.