Karen Knapstein
March 12, 2013

Duffel Bags for Dignity


Have you ever moved? It can be exciting, but it can also be sort of a pain and sometimes, it can be sad too. Leaving a school and friends, not to mention your home, can be hard, even if you’ve got the support of your family.

But what if you had to move all the time? And each time you moved, you left behind a family?

That’s something that happens to kids in the foster system all the time. According to, “the 500,000 foster kids in the US will move homes an average of three times before age 18.” And more often than not, the stuff a kid has at one home is moved to another in a plastic garbage bag.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

But there’s the start of a solution in the works.

DoSomething and Together We Rise, an organization dedicated to supporting foster kids, are petitioning the Connecticut Department of Children and Families to adopt a policy of providing kids who enter the foster system with a suitcase or duffel bag to carry their things – instead of the current default of a garbage bag.

Because Connecticut has one of the better foster care systems in the country, the hope is that their policy will soon be adopted by other states.

If they get the 10,000 signatures they’re looking for, the groups will deliver their petition to the head of DCF there.

What’s even better, if the state adopts the policy, Together We Rise will provide the bags. Everyone wins, particularly the kids whose lives will be just a little bit better because their belongings won’t be relegated to garbage. 

To put your name on the petition – the only thing you have to do – click here. You can also learn more about the project and read about the foster care system from a kid who’s been there. 

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