Luggage for Love campaign halted

Published 8:32 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018


The Luggage for Love Campaign has been called off — for a very good reason.

“We started the project with a goal of raising 50 luggage items, and we have now received over 250 donations,” said Alesha Harper, one of four East Carolina University master’s of social work students who organized Luggage for Love.

Last month, Harper, who also works as a social worker with Beaufort County DSS, launched the class project, with the intention of drumming up new or gently used suitcases, duffle bags or lidded plastic containers for Beaufort County’s 89 children in the foster care system. The intention was to give children something substantial in which to put their belongings when they’re removed from a home, which can often happen quickly.

“Often those children don’t have, or have access, to suitcases. Clothes, shoes and other belongings can end up in makeshift bags as the child makes their way to a foster home,” Harper wrote in an email.

The response to the campaign was overwhelming: there are more than enough suitcases to go around for the 94 children now in foster care in the county, she said.

“As a group, we would like to express our thanks and gratitude to the community and residents outside of the community who contributed to our campaign. Not only has it alleviated additional allocated funds from being used to purchase new luggage, but these donations are available immediately for our children to receive,” she wrote.

The campaign was set to end March 30, but the social work students decided to end it Wednesday.

Harper encouraged others to be proactive and reach out to local agencies in the future to find out what supplies could help.

“Sometimes, something as simple as donating canned food to the local food bank or agency pantry, donating school supplies at the beginning of the school year or volunteering to sponsor children in foster care during Christmas can be just as successful,” she wrote, adding that the need for luggage will be ongoing. “We would like to express our sincere thanks to those who donated items to benefit our children in need. We have found that if there is a community who supports those within it, then everyone involved will flourish.”

For future donations, email for more information.