Hi Tammy,

My name is Bobbie and I heard about your cause thru Anywhere But Here Travel in Washington.

We were talking back and forth on how I could help. I sell a direct sales company that puts embroidered names/phrases on the bags and thought to myself that I have a product that I can promote to help this cause. I also mentioned my idea to my 20 year old daughter and she got just as excited as I was.

Together we would like to be a voice for your company “Its My Bag” in the northwest. We have created 4 donation levels for our customers so that they can choose a bag and then choose what empowerment phrase/words they want on it. Some of the examples are #staystrong, Being Me, You Rock, and the list of empowerment words goes on and on. Our plan is to order the bags and have them shipped to either you or the foster centers directly. Any profit that is made will go into the cost of shipping and/or will be used to purchase more bags.

At first I was going to just offer this to my customers as an added option but the more people I talk with the more support and excitement I am getting. So now our focus has shifted from small to huge. We would like to go to events and try and get as many bags donated as possible. Our actual goal is to raise 1,000 bags this year. With trying to go big with this, we thought it would be great to create posters and wear t-shirts to the events. For that we would love to use the logo you have created.

These children in foster care tug at my heart and I feel for them. Your cause makes so much sense and has created a passion in my heart to help. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you!

Bobbie and Samantha Netz

Being in foster care as a child is definitely  something that follows that child into adulthood.  These children slowly  become all to familiar with insecurity,  chaos and loss. These beautiful souls sadly are shuffled for many reasons and at last minutes notice from home to home. This is inevitable in this environment.  Sadly though most of these children’s little belongings that they have collected or found and even the items that have been given by kind volunteers are all placed in a garbage bag to join them at their next placement.  I myself moved from home to home with just the same kind of luggage. My case worker would pick me up frantically place my small amount of things in a garbage bag,  let me say good bye to my life for that past few weeks or month then onward to the next home.  He would walk me to the car and clumsily throw the black bag and all of my possessions into the trunk of the car. I might have been young but I remember the helplessness and the foreboding when I heard that crinkle of the plastic and the material slowly pulling apart.  since I was a child who danced with abandonment and instability for the majority of my life .  I feared that my stuffed companions (my truest friends.) would get lost or left behind.  This cycle of arriving and going with a garbage bag for me ended when I met my forever parents when I was almost 6. I can vaguely remember the disgust and appalled tone in my mother’s voice when she asked my caseworker where my things were. He casually went to the trunk and pulled out the trash bag on the drive way.    Children especially young children are not born knowing what they are worth. This is something they learn based on how society and the people in their life treat them.  That moment it finally sunk into me that my most prized possessions were going into the same thing as trash it began  to really hurt and disgusted me as I get older it angers me.

-Carissa Ann Lillie Alvarnaz

From the Foster Parent’s Prospective;
Curtis and I have been Foster Parents since 2002. During that time we’ve
had 44 children appear on our doorstep, followed by the infamous “Black
Garbage Bag” carried by a case manager. Yes the bag is loaded down with all
the child’s personal effects, many times the move is so quick it’s full of
dirty clothes. Many times it’s also full of roaches. However, it’s a
dignity issue if you ask me. It would be better if the children had boxes
instead. Even wanted children, when moving, observe their items neatly
wrapped and placed in moving boxes. However, this doesn’t work well with
the transportation departments in the foster care system. There’s usually
not enough room for the children and boxes of items.

We’ve only experienced one child with suitcases and the difference was
remarkable. This child, fortunately, has made her last move as we’ve
finally had our home study approved and will be adopting her next month.
I picked her up from her previous foster home and she acted like I was
loading her bags for a world cruise. I don’t know if the child is just like
different than others but she orchestrated the transport with dignity and
finesse, with head held high and a wee-flip of her hair.

The suitcases are a great idea. Another one that would also be awesome
would be the following;
Many of our children come directly from their homes. Obviously they’re
being removed for a plethora of reasons but it usually also involves
neglect. We never open bags in the house. Unfortunately is that is, my
partner is a fierce cleaner but those roaches take in a second of time.
We usually form three piles;
– Personal Items to be Fumigated
– Clothes to be Fumigated and Washed
– Clothes to be Fumigated and Sent to a Church
– We established a relationship with a church quilting group. They take
these clothes that can no longer
be worn and cut them up and make comfort quilts specially for each
child so they have the comfort of
their clothing and sometimes security blankets on their travels
through the system.

Warm Regards,

SCOTT ELSASS, MBA, LNHA – MEDBEST, a National Executive Search Firm