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.