Saturday, November 6, 2010

Love Luggage for Foster Children

I'm at my yearly conference for art teachers.  There are always plenty of fun, motivating and exciting sessions to choose from.  The first one that I attended was for a community service project called "Love Luggage."  This session was led by Sarah Philip of the Congressional Schools of VA.

"Love Luggage" was a service project created by Ohio art teachers and the beneficiaries are foster children.  Because these children are often pulled from a situation on short notice, they have no way to carry their possessions except for in trash bags.  This is certainly not a way to honor this person or their belongings.  To remedy this, the art teachers came up with a service project that breathes new life into old luggage and turns them into prized possessions.  The suitcases are given to children in foster care to keep and cherish forever.

Hard shell suitcases are donated, scavenged or purchased.  The inside lining is cleaned or replaced.  Students or volunteers then decorate these in a way suitable for a foster child.

I found a site on the web that gives detailed directions on how to clean and paint one of these.
http://www.examiner.com/arts-and-crafts-in-plano/how-to-turn-old-suitcases-into-love-luggage-for-foster-children

The presenter said that one of the only problems with this project is that the student artists had a hard time parting with these treasures.

10 comments:

Jenny said...

These are beautiful! I can imagine it would be hard to part with them. Is this something that our fifth graders could get involved with as a part of their service learning?

Julia said...

This is such a need! These are so much fun, way better than just a plain ole' duffel bag!

sallgood said...

I love these, and what a great service opportunity! Thanks for sharing.

Little Ol' Liz said...

What a touching idea, to selflessly give to someone who is truly needy through no fault of their own. I never would have thought of the Love Luggage idea, but it's one I'd like to pass on. This is one Service Project that will last long past many others. Thank you for sharing, Jan. Have a wonderful Conference!

LDH said...

What a truly great idea! A very special way of saying someone loves them!

Julie said...

Isn't this just fantastic??? What a fabulous project!

Snippety Gibbet said...

I like the idea, Jenny. I may send this link to them and see what they say.

Kathy said...

What a wonderful service project. I am very interested in this idea too.

Rhubarb said...

That is just so great! I've been involved with making memory boxes for kids too: boxes with mementoes about the bits of their lives that they know about, and also for adopted kids so that they have somewhere for their precious memories of their birth families, culture or previous foster parents. Having somewhere safe to put your things is just something you take for granted if you have a "regular" life. So sad it's not that way for everyone. Sara x

jackie said...

What an awesome and inspired project!

This isn't related but I loved that you laughed and gabbed for 5 hours with your college roommates!!
I guess the computer isn't entirely evil...only partially evil.