LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More than 400,000 children are in the foster care system in the United States. Some of them are removed from their homes with very few belongings, and what they do leave with is, oftentimes, put in a trash bag.
Don Pratt, a retired foster dad, saw this firsthand and has been collecting suitcases so foster children have somewhere to put their things.
“It’s a nice thing to do and I’m so glad I can do it,” Pratt said.
The 77-year-old was a foster parent for 20 years and saw a lot of children show up to his home with their personal belongings in garbage bags. He started collecting luggage so more children would have somewhere to put their things and he’s donated thousands of pieces of luggage since.
It’s a needed initiative - in Kentucky, more than 9,000 children are in foster care and something to hold onto can make their day.
“This has been a huge blessing to us,” said Antonio Thomas, executive director at Kulima Care Family Services, a Kentucky foster care organization. “Every time we get kids in, we give luggage so they can have it when they don’t have it. That’s just something families don’t think about especially when you don’t have the funds to travel, you don’t think about luggage.”
But, Don did.
“I’m still healthy at 77. I have injuries I’m dealing with those as well,” said Don. But, he adds, “the pain is nothing compared to the goodness I’m able to do.”
If you have any luggage you’d like to donate, Don says you can simply give him a call and he will go pick it up. His number is (859) 552-2235.