Local realtor company collects suitcases for foster children

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Luggage For Kids collected suitcases in Albuquerque Saturday morning – to help children transition into New Mexico’s foster care system.

“Nobody really knows unless you know that foster kids go from one house to another. When they get taken they have to take all of their things in a garbage bag, and so when we found that out we said, ‘what can we do to help,’” said Natalia Beraun with Weichert Realtors.

Beraun says this is the second year they’ve held their annual Luggage for Kids suitcase drive.

“Last year we collected about $4,000 and 200 suitcases. This year I think we’re already upwards of $10,000 and I’m hoping we have over 250 suitcases,” said Beraun.

All of the suitcases collected during the drive go to Red Mountain Family Services, a local treatment foster care agency.

“We know that people who grew up in foster care talked a lot about when ‘I was in foster care I didn’t get to keep all my stuff or I had to use trash bags,’ so this is the first step to helping kids not feel, to make them feel very special when they’re in foster care and that they’ll still have all their needs met,” said Cindy Clark-Thompson CEO of Red Mountain Family Services.

Clark-Thompson says the suitcase drive is also a great way to remind people about the need for foster parents in the state.

“That’s the biggest need in New Mexico right now is foster parents that are willing to open up their home and have kids placed with them, and it’s a hard job but it’s very rewarding,” she said.

And if you missed the event Saturday, there’s still a way you can still donate on Weicher Realtor’s page.