Over 5,000 kids are in foster care every year. Often they are moved from place to place at a moment's notice with only a trash bag to carry their clothes. That's where Luggage Love for Foster Friends comes in. It's What's Right With Tampa Bay.
You can often find Dr. M.J. Price playing with her two adopted children: 5-year-old Bodhi and 3-year-old Ellie.
Dr. Price grew up in a home where giving was second nature, and now is instilling those values in her kids, even at their young age.
"We always tell them anything that you do might seem like a little gesture to you, but to somebody else, it could absolutely mean the world."
Working with foster children, Dr. Price noticed that their clothes were put into trash bags when they were moved from home to home. To help make the transition easier, she came up with an idea. She decided to collect suitcases. She called her effort 'Luggage Love for Foster Kids.'
"It's just a suitcase to you and me. To these kids, it's a treasure chest. It's everything. It really is important; it's a treasure chest, it's something that they really need."
Pam Bell is director of Everyday Blessings, a place for abused and abandon children. She says moving kids from place to place is traumatic, but the suitcases make a big difference.
"When you have everything in a garbage bag, it's like what you have is garbage, which means I must be garbage. And so to give them back their self-worth, giving them a suitcase, two suitcases to fill up with their own stuff, it just changes their whole outlook on themselves and their life."
An outlook that Dr. Price hopes other will adopt to help those who need it most.
"It's a huge deal to a child that gets that suitcase, or to the teen. That's a big, big deal. You just did something amazing. You reached out to them and let them know that somebody out here cares about you."
In just over two years, Dr. Price has handed out over 800 suitcases. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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