CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Mission West Virginia needs your help. They’re asking folks all across the state to donate new or gently-used luggage, backpacks and duffel bags for their “Carry-On Campaign.”

This is the fourth year Mission West Virginia has teamed up with the Children’s Home Society and U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin to raise awareness about the need.

“A lot of times when children are removed from their home, it could be in the middle of the night or it could be a really quick situation, and often times things get thrown into a garbage bag,” explained Carrie Dawson with MWV.

West Virginia currently has 4,000 children in the foster care system. Dawson said it can be traumatic for kids who are taken from their homes in crisis situations. Something as simple as their own bag can give them dignity and security.

“No child should be forced to leave their home with just the clothes on their back,” said Goodwin.

MWV is also asking for personal care items to put inside those bags

“Essential items like a toothbrush and toothpaste. Even though a toothbrush will be provided to that child wherever they’re placed,” stressed Dawson. “It’s empowering to already have their own toothbrush or their own snacks or coloring book or stuffed animal.”

The campaign is going on all across the state. Dawson says if you want to donate locally, that is possible.

“I know it’s really important for a lot of people to be able to make an impact in their own community,” said Dawson.

In the past four years, MWV has handed out more than 2,500 bags filled with personal items. But currently they don’t have anything on their shelves. Dawson is hoping people will be generous this holiday season.

“It’s Thanksgiving. It’s a time to be thankful. It’s a time to give. It’s a good time of year to help out kids.”

You can donate by calling 1-866-CALL-MWV or by e-mail at cdawson.missionwv.org. You’ll be able to choose a drop site near you, to help local kids in need.

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Comments

  • Wendy

    Bags seem like such a small thing to the average person, but this is so true. We currently have an 11 year old and her little brother. They were removed from school and the intake worker went to the home to retrieve personal items. She brought what little she could retrieve in a plastic bag. (We see this all the time). The state is investigating biological family members for safe placement of the children, and so I had a discussion with the children about what was going on in their case. The primary question of the 11 year old was "And if we move in with my Aunt do we take all of our new stuff in Kroger bags?" This was such a sad but powerful statement, and this one statement emphasizes the need for exactly what your cause is doing. Thank you so much!

  • Barbara Lau

    As a former foster parent in West Va. I used to complain about this. My foster children (who are now my adopted children) all came to us with garbage bags full of stuff, which didn't fit them or weren't even age, weather or gender appropriate. I am sure the workers never even look in the bags to see them stuffed with nonsense and garbage. A child's attitude about themselves can be cruelly damaged even more by being delivered to a scary new situation with even the implication of garbage.

  • jerica

    What kind of stuff are you looking for? When do you need it by? Thanks for the information.

  • IRON HORSE

    I WAS TAKEN AFTER I WALKED HOME FROM SCHOOL WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS OLD BY DHHR. A MAN WAS IN MY HOME DRIVE WAY TOLD ME WHO I WAS ASKED ME IF I COULD GO INTO THE HOUSE TO GET A FEW CLOTHES & THINGS. I WENT IN AND GO A PAPER BAG & FILLED IT WITH CLOTHES NOT KNOWING EVEN WHERE I WAS GOING. I WAS TAKEN TO A HOME WHERE A WOMAN HAD 6 KIDS OF HER OWN MOSTLY 6 & TO 8 YEARS OLDER THAN ME WHERE I WAS ABUSED BY HER DAUGHTER SLAPED IN THE FACE SO HARD I HIT THE GROUND. I CRYED EVERY NIGHT IN SILENT FORM BECAUSE THEY SAID IF THEY HEARD ME CRYING ONE MORE TIME I WOULD BE SORRY! I CRYED FOR MOM TO COME & GET ME.I WAS GIVEN TOAST WITH PEANUT BUTTER ON TOAST TO EAT EVERY MEAL. I'M ALL MOST 54 & I THINK OF THE HORROR KIDS FACE IN TODAYS WORLD. I FEEL THEIR PAIN I'VE BEEN IN THEIR SHOES!!!

    • WV Gal

      Ironhorse..So sorry o hear of the abused u endured while in a foster home..i feel so many kids are placed in foster homes and they are lost because no one ever come back to check on them..Why would they place child in a home where there were already 6 kids. Needless to say I was a foster parent and the kids hat came to me..never wanted to leave...3 never did..and they r now grown adults who still call me every day and say I love you Mom..and I too love them with all my heart..Prayers for you..

      • Lisa

        God Bless you WV Gal!