Teach Them to Pack with a Purpose!
Travel Expert Anne McAlpin has been a featured guest on Oprah®, The View, and CNN, sharing up-to-the-minute travel tips. She has flown more than 2 million miles, traveled in over 71 countries, and cruised through the Panama Canal 98 times. When her nieces and nephews turn 16, she gives them a passport and takes them on a trip anywhere they’d like to go. She is currently planning next summer’s adventure for her niece, Mary Beth: Africa.
Did you know that children in the Foster Care System move on average 6 times before the age of 18? Each time, they are often handed only a large plastic bag in which to pack their belongings.
Imagine, instead, if they were given your lightly used luggage.
Perfectly good luggage sits unused in people’s closets because the rising cost of baggage fees have rendered many large heavy cases obsolete. In addition, many older bags have pre-9/11 combination locks on them, not TSA approved.
What to do with all these perfectly good bags?
For years, I’ve recommended that travelers donate suitcases to their local Foster Care Program, and the response has been overwhelming. I think it’s time to take this idea to the next level, and you and your nieces and nephews can help.
Most children and teens have tote bags, sports bags, etc. that they don’t need; and definitely, adults have suitcases and tote bags from conventions and events that are just taking up space in their homes. Add to this: many teens are looking for in-service school projects, and this could be a great fit.
Perhaps you can suggest to your nieces or nephews that they start a local program to ask people to donate their lightly used bags for such a great cause. There are lots of people in need, and Foster Care is just one. Contact your local DHS (Department of Human Services) to see if there are programs, women’s and men’s shelters, etc.
Two tips to success:
1. Often, the positive response can be overwhelming, so be sure to have a pre-approved charity that needs luggage and has a place to store them. Check in advance or you might have garages filled to the top with donated bags—like we’ve had in the past.
2. Remind everyone what “lightly used” means (e.g., clean bags, no broken zippers or torn outside pockets, etc.).
Such a small thing can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Help “Change the World one Suitcase at a Time!” Thanks!
Published: October 29, 2012