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Luggage sought for foster kids

POSTED November 11, 2011 11:22 p.m.

Children in foster care in California often leave their families in crisis situations. They take only a few personal items with them, maybe a change of clothes or two. Most of them don’t have luggage, backpacks or even a tote bag to keep their things in.

“These kids literally have a garbage bag or a box,” said Cheryl Gerhardt, marketing director for Paramount Court.

That is why Paramount Court Senior Living is holding a Suitcases for Kids drive at their facility in Turlock. The collected suitcases and backpacks will be donated to Creative Alternatives, a local foster family agency. Gerhardt said other Integral Senior Living communities have done suitcase drives in the past and have received positive feedback from foster care agencies. 

“It gives (foster children) a little more self worth,” Gerhardt said.

Paramount Court reached out to Creative Alternatives for their cooperation in the suitcase drive. The assisted living facility will be collecting new and gently used suitcases, backpacks and other luggage throughout the month of November. Their first week was a success with around 25 items donated.

“It’s just a little thing that can make a difference for a child in foster care,” Gerhardt said.

Anyone can donate a suitcase to the Suitcases for Kids drive by bring the item to Paramount Court Senior Living at 3791 Crowell Rd. There is a display in the front lobby where new or gently used suitcases can be dropped off. Donations are accepted any day in November. Volunteers will load the suitcases into the Paramount Court bus at the end of the month and deliver them to Creative Alternatives.

Creative Alternatives Foster Family Agency provides a healthy, safe and nurturing environment for emotionally disturbed, neglected and abused children.  They have cared for thousands of children over the last 30 years.

For more information or questions about specific donation items call Cheryl Gerhardt at 664-9500.

To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.

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