That by itself is a terribly sad image, but imagine these children were carrying all of their earthly belongings in a beat-up garbage bag.
This is an image that for most children in the foster care system is a reality.
Kesha Webb, who is director of Camelot Care located on Broad Street, is all too familiar with these situations.
Camelot Care is a local organization that trains families to become foster parents and also helps place children in foster homes when they find themselves in terrible situations and need to be removed from their homes.
In fact, Webb says most of the children carry their belongings in garbage bags and make jokes about who has the better bag.
“When I heard this story, it literally broke my heart,” says Matt Ryerson, president of the local Kiwanis Club.
“What does it say to a child when we ask them to put everything important to them, the only things they own, into a garbage bag? The symbolism was too obvious and something our club felt obligated to respond to.”
The Kiwanis Club of Cleveland has a simple mission statement, “To serve the children of the world.”
With that sort of mission statement, the need Webb described was something club members immediately felt compelled to rally around. After only one announcement, the club donated more than 30 pieces of luggage, backpacks, and travel bags.
But this is just the beginning. Ryerson went on to say, “We are challenging our club, other local civic clubs, and anyone in the community to join us on this drive to support these children in need. Just about everyone has a ‘gently’ used suitcase, backpack, or bag in a closet they are not using. Imagine the impact of giving that to child and replacing a garbage bag.”
To get involved or contribute a bag to this drive, call Kesha Webb at Camelot Care at 423-476-3799 , or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.