Duffel Bag and Luggage Drive Launched for Children in Foster Care and Residential Care

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Jackson, MS - Jan 12, 2016 - Katy and Jimmy arrived at the Warren County Children’s Shelter, a runaway and homeless youth shelter, with only the clothing they wore and the remainder of their minimal possessions in a trash bag.  The homeless siblings spent the Christmas holidays living at the shelter.  On Christmas morning, they were able to receive duffel bags along with other Christmas presents.  Donated to the shelter, the bags allowed the siblings to have a place for their belongings.

 “The majority of the time when a child is admitted to the shelter, we see them walk through our gates with all their belongings in a trash bag,” said Annie Jackson, Director of the South Mississippi Children’s Center, located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  “A child should never have to transport their possessions in a trash bag. It indicates to them they are unworthy. By providing them with luggage, we can help begin restoring their dignity and give them a sense of ownership and pride.”

“The majority of the time when a child is admitted to the shelter, we see them walk through our gates with all their belongings in a trash bag,” said Annie Jackson, Director of the South Mississippi Children’s Center. “A child should never have to transport their possessions in a trash bag. It indicates to them they are unworthy. By providing them with luggage, we can help begin restoring their dignity and give them a sense of ownership and pride.”

Annie Jackson, Director of the South Mississippi Children’s Center

To help address the need, Mississippi Children’s Home Services (MCHS) is launching an initiative to provide duffel bags or luggage to the children in their shelters, community programs, residential care and foster care program.  They are asking for help from the communities they serve. 

“In working with the children being served in our programs, many times there is a need for them to be transported along with their belongings.  It is always heartbreaking to see them having to place their most cherished possessions in black garbage bags,” said Wanda Thomas, Director of Intensive Services with MCHS. “It crushes their self-esteem and can be viewed as another traumatic event occurring in their lives.   The look on a child’s face when they are able to place their items in a suitcase and/or duffel bag is priceless. You can’t put a monetary value on it.”

The duffel bag and luggage drive is a yearlong project of MCHS.  MCHS welcomes any organization, group, or individual to donate new or gently used luggage or duffel bags to their drop off locations.  Locations include:

  • Greenville
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 2357 Highway 1 South;
  •  Gulfport
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 11975 Seaway Road, Suite A230
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services CARES School: 2415 17th Street
  •  Hattiesburg
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 105 Asbury Circle, Suite A
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services CARES School – 6752 Highway 98 W
    •  United Way – 210 W Front St # 400
    •  Forrest County DHS – 1604 W Pine St
  •  Jackson
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 1900 North West Street
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 1465 Lakeland Drive
  •  McComb
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 407 Apache Drive, Suite 2
  •  Meridian
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 2912 Highway 45, Suite A
  •  Natchez
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 806 North Union Street
  •  Olive Branch
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 9855 Highway 178 A & B
  •  Starkville
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 501 Highway 12 West, Suite 180
  •  Tupelo
    •  Mississippi Children’s Home Services: 254 South Front Street

For more information, contact 601-352-7784. 

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About Mississippi Children’s Home Services

Mississippi Children’s Home Services (MCHS) is Mississippi’s largest and most comprehensive provider of children’s behavioral health, educational and social services. Founded in 1912, MCHS offers a full array of integrated, community-based services in all 82 counties as well as intensive campus-based and educational programming.  For more information, please contact 601-352-7784.

Media contact:

Kym Williams, 769-777-1010

kym.williams@mchscares.org

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