The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 21, 2012

Goodwin advocate for holiday luggage drive

By Sarah Plummer
Register-Herald Reporter

— U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin stopped in Beckley Wednesday to drum up interest in a The Carry-On Campaign, a collaborative, multi-agency partnership that supports children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.

The program provides children transitioning into foster care with their own luggage and some much-needed personal items.

Carrie Dawson, public relations director for Mission West Virginia Inc., explained that most often children who are transitioning into foster homes only have garbage bags to move their clothes in.

“One of the stories that really got me was a boy who had put his clothes in a garbage bag,” said Goodwin. “When he got to his transitional home all he had was a bag of garbage. He had picked up the wrong bag. And this is unacceptable. We have to do better and this program does better by making an extraordinary difference in the lives of kids making that transition out of a broken home.”

Carry-On seeks new or gently used luggage of all shapes and sizes as well as toiletries and items that will make the transition easier, like a flashlight, blanket, stuffed animal, book or game,

A complete list of suggested items is available at missionwv.org/FrameWorks, under special projects.

These donations can be dropped of at DHHR offices across the state. A complete list of drop-off locations is also available online at missionwv.org/FrameWorks.

“It is Thanksgiving week, a great time to give thanks for what you have and remember those in need, especially children,” said Dawson.

“But this is not just a project for the holidays,” added Goodwin. “Church groups, businesses and families can get together and sponsor Carry-On all year round.”

Since its inception in October 2010, Carry-On has given away thousands of bags, but there are over 4,000 kids in foster care with more transitioning in all the time.

Carry-On is a collaborative partnership between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Mission West Virginia Inc., the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute and the West Virginia Drug Endangered Children Task Force.

For more information, call 866-CALL-MWV.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com