SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) — The Unclaimed Baggage Center is giving a lot of its luggage to the Jackson County Department of Human Resources for foster children.
“When children in the foster care system sometimes get removed from their homes, they’re not able to carry their belongings in a bag or a suitcase,” Brenda Cantrell said.
“They just have to get out rather quickly and so we have this Luv Luggage program.”
But Cantrell and her co-workers at Unclaimed Baggage don’t want the kids to have boring luggage, they want them to be fun, so they’re having Scottsboro students decorate them.
Fifth and sixth grade students at Collins Elementary’s 21st Century Community Learning Center after school program spent the past two Wednesdays painting some suitcases.
Fifth grader Nathan Jones said his partner had the idea of coming up with a smiley face, and he painted on an afro and mustache to look like a legendary guitarist.
“Jimi Hendrix,”Jones said. “She decided to put glasses on it, and on the other side we had a monkey swinging on vines.”
Other designs also incorporated musical themes, as well as rainbows and other bright colors to create cheer. These kids learned that there are others their own age who live in more challenging circumstances.
“I’m doing this for Love Luggage because I feel like the kids that don’t have parents need support.” Jones said. “We hope they get to a good family and we’re supporting them.”
He wrote that message in a letter to his suitcase’s recipient, as did all the other students.
Each letter is addressed to a friend, and signed “Your friend.”
“It’s a matter of just letting the child know that these circumstances are not what I would want them to be, but I know that there are people that care about me because they’ve painted this suitcase. They’ve written this letter,” Cantrell said.
The finished suitcases will be on display during an open house at Collins Elementary next Thursday, March 14, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., and will then be displayed at the Unclaimed Baggage Center later this month before their donation.
Cantrell said it is a project you can do with your old suitcases and your local DHR.
For more information about Luv Luggage, visit their website here.