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Organization provides suitcases with gifts inside for Kentuckians going in and out of foster care

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Posted at 3:47 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 18:35:35-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — In Kentucky, there are more than nine thousand kids in foster care, and the number is only increasing. That's according to KVC Kentucky.

Some bounce from home to home while others are transitioning to adulthood without ever owning something as simple as a suitcase.

"You know, kids come into foster care, some of them with nothing. And some of them with only their things in a plastic bag," said Dr. Sharen Ford.

Ford is with Focus on the Family, and she says the organization is bringing suitcases as a gift for those in, or just out of, foster care. It's something permanent for some of Kentucky's young kids and adults in need.

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"And we want kids to know that they're not trash. And that their things aren't trash. That they are somebody," said Ford.

"I see kids that a lot of times are being asked to move around the state; either they're coming out of their home in a pretty abrupt way or they're being moved from foster home to foster home," said Darren Washausen with Orphan Care Alliance. "These suitcases give them something that's theirs. It gives them dignity and something that they can keep with them."

The suitcase does not come empty. Inside, there's a bible along with a timeless item linked to childhood.

"And also there is a stuffed animal, and that stuffed animal represents comfort," said Ford.

The organization is teaming up with Orphan Care Alliance and Children's Family Services to make sure these go to kids, both in the foster care system or transitioning to adulthood in Kentucky.

"There's another group of people who don't even know your name. But God knows your name, and that we care for you," said Dr. Ford.

Something to call their own is a small way to show that.