It’s My Bag was founded with one principle in mind- no child or the things they own should be cast aside. Tammy Levent, owner of Elite Travel founded It’s My Bag in 2014 after visiting a foster care home and seeing that the children in these homes had to carry their belongings in large black garbage bags. This inspired Tammy to encourage those around her to donate suitcases to each child in the home so that they could have a place to store their clothes and belongings.
Today, It’s My Bag is becoming a nationwide movement of travel agents coming together and encouraging the community to donate suitcases, travel bags, and duffel bags so that every child in foster care can have their own bag.
How the name It’s My Bag was chosen:
When trying to come up with the perfect name for this movement of gathering and distributing suitcases and bags to foster care children Tammy put a bunch of names together and let the first group of kids that would be helped vote on it. They decided on It’s My Bag as a testament to the fact that they would finally have something that belonged to them.
That first group was Friends of Joshua House. DeDe Grundel, Executive Director at Friends of Joshua House Foundation had this to say:
“One of the greatest disservices we do to foster children is to give them the message that they are not valuable. We do it in subtle yet destructive ways, it might be as simple as putting a child’s few worldly belongings in a trash bag in order to move her. The message that child receives is that she is trash. It is not intentional. Child welfare resources are slim; providing a safe home, nutritional food and clothes on their backs is of utmost importance, and that is enough to strain the budget. That is why a community campaign like the “It’s My Bag” is so important. It provides these children and teens with travel bags, suitcases, or duffle bags, but more importantly, it provides them dignity.”
Tammy Levent- Founder of It’s My Bag
Tammy Levent is a business strategist, travel expert, author and speaker. She is also the founder of the It’s My Bag movement.
In 2014 Tammy Levent developed It’s My Bag after visiting a foster care home and seeing that the children in these homes had to carry their belongings in large black garbage bags. This inspired Tammy to encourage those around her to donate suitcases to each child in the home so that they could have a place to store their clothes and belongings.
Upon creating a website and beginning to spread the word about It’s My Bag Levent immediately had volunteers signing up to gather bags and offers from businesses to be bag drop off locations.
Helping just her home base wasn’t enough though. Tammy started telling friends and partners about her idea on social media and the movement of gathering and distributing of suitcases to foster homes home all over the country began to spread. It’s My Bag is in a handful of cities already and it’s growing by leaps and bounds almost daily.
Tammy runs Elite Travel, a successful, award-winning National travel agency based in the Tampa Bay area, and has always been a firm believer in giving back to her community. Over the last two decades of running her business Tammy has donated more than $1.5 million in trips and donations alone and has helped raise more than $2 million for various charities.
Just a few of the charities Tammy has helped out with in one way or another over the years include: Friends of Joshua House, Ruth Eckerd Hall for the Arts, United Way, Miracles Outreach Program, A Children’s Place, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The American Cancer Society, The Tampa Crisis Center, The Academies for Educational Excellence, All Children’s Hospital, Tampa Bay Beautification, Tampa Feeding America, Girl Scouts of America, Ruth Eckerd Hall and the arts, among many more.
To learn more about It’s My Bag and how you can help, please click here.