This October (2020) we started the campaign Packing with Purpose Suitcase donation drive. The purpose of the campaign was to give fully packed carry-on suitcases to foster children aging out the system here in Tampa and other parts of Florida.
Why give suitcases? Many times when children age out of foster care (age 18), they leave with their things in a plastic bag. If they do not have housing available when they age out, they immediately become homeless. We wanted them to at least have a new suitcase to carry their things in and everyday essentials to get started.
Our goal was to pack 25 suitcases.
Thanks to the generosity of so many people, we raised enough to pack close to 100 brand new suitcases! 100!!!!!!!!!!! That is 4x the amout of our goal.
We were able to donate to:
- Camelot Community Care – 58 Suitcases
- Project Bridge Central – 20 Suitcases
- Grow into You Foundation – 5 Suitcases
- MaRae’s House – 2 Suitcases
- 360 Center for Chance – 2 Suitcases
- Mending Hearts – 4 Suitcases
Thank you to everyone that donated to Packing with Purpose. These teens were so blessed by everything that you gave. Unfortunately because of privacy concerns, I wasn’t able to actually get pictures with the teens but I did get a few pics with the caregivers as they accepted the suitcases. They shared that as the teens get their suitcases and want to take pics, they will send them our way.
Check out the video of the entire process
What I’m Most Proud Of
We did this entire campaign with the donations of everyday people that care about the well-being of these teens. We didn’t get any donations from big brands (well, one big brand), stores, or companies. Just amazing everyday people who care! Thank you again!
Shout out to Izzy & Liv! Izzy & Liv is a major brand that did donate 25 each of 8-9 items from their store. It was the only brand that donated. The items are amazing. Unfortunately, they came after the suitcases were packed and already given away. So, we plan to partner with another organization and give them away to some amazing teen girls.
If you want to donate cash towards the next Packing with Purpose Suitcase donation drive & The Knighten Project please donate here.
A big thank you to my team Shatavia Elder, Nadine Samardzija & Aseelah Knighten. These three ladies met and helped with me throughout the entire process. We could not have completed this project without their ideas, time, input and suggestions. Thank you ladies!
I’d also like to thank Fox News Tampa for featuring us on What’s Right in Tampa. Being on Fox News helped us go beyond our goal and will allow us to make even more dreams possible in the near future.