Every month, more than 700 Arizona children enter foster care, leaving their homes for a safer environment, but often with little or no time to pack a bag of their belongings.
Larry H. Miller Dealerships is making a commitment to helping Arizona children transition into a safe home with the “Luggage of Love” campaign, a month-long drive to support children and families statewide who are served by the Arizona Department of Child Safety.
“Every child has a right to live in a safe, healthy and comfortable environment, but many Arizona children are trapped in circumstances beyond their control,” said Mary Marcelli, Arizona controller, Larry H. Miller Dealerships. “They are removed from their homes and families, and often, there is either no time to pack a bag, or even worse, nothing to pack. With our donation of luggage, pillows, blankets, pajamas and socks, we hope to give these kids some comfort in a very trying time.”
Through March 31, Larry H. Miller Dealerships is encouraging its employees and the public to help foster children transition into safer environments with simple items of comfort. Donations will be accepted at the group’s 12 dealership locations across Metro Phoenix and Tucson. The items needed include carry-on sized roller suitcases, blankets, pillows, pajamas and socks for children up to the age of 18. All donated items must be new and unused.
There are more than 14,000 Arizona children in foster care, according to the Arizona Department of Child Safety.
Children of all ages enter foster care through no fault of their own. More than 80% of children enter foster care because they have experienced neglect in their home and an estimated 70% of children enter due to a parent’s drug use.
“Kids in care often feel like they are all alone,” said DCS Director Mike Faust. “Which is why it’s important for community members to show them that there are people out there who care about them. We are grateful for Larry H. Miller Dealerships for letting these kids know that they have a lot of people in the community who support and care about them.”
The “Luggage of Love” campaign will culminate in April, when a caravan of Larry H. Miller Dealerships vehicles stuffed with suitcases and items of comfort meet and deliver the donations at the Arizona Department of Child Safety’s Welcome Centers in Phoenix and Tucson.