Woman's Facebook post spreads the word as luggage is needed for local foster children

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Sometimes social media can be a good thing.

Vanessa Sewell, Family Development Specialist and Foster Family Recruiter at SAFY in Bowling Green, made a simple post on her personal Facebook page on Saturday, detailing her experience picking up a foster child. Her post has since been shared 16 thousand times.

"It has been unbelievable, I mean I can not believe how many people have responded to it," she said on Monday.

"I wrote that post because my heart was heavy on Saturday," she explained.

Vanessa said when she went to pick up the child, she found him with his personal items -- those things he needed and wanted most -- being stored where many of us throw our garbage.

"He came with two trash bags and they were the big industrial trash bags. They were packed full," she said.

"So this was a situation where a kid needed to come out of his former home probably pretty quickly and there wasn't enough time to get totes, luggage, duffel bags, anything like that," she added.

She posted on her Facebook page, asking her friends to donate new or used luggage to SAFY, a foster care agency.

SAFY already accepts luggage but with each child walking through their doors, their supply is getting smaller and smaller.

"We've had two or three donations so far this year and we've gone through all of it, so there's always a great need," said Vanessa.

She said the center serves around 100 children each year.

"It's not unusual for kids to come through with trash bags and it's not necessarily a derogatory statement on them but it definitely feels like one whenever their belongings are in those bags," she said.

As the number of "shares" continue to grow on Vanessa's Facebook post, so do the number of luggage donations coming in to SAFY.

"We've been getting calls as far as Kansas and California and people are sending us luggage in the mail," she said.

"Even when kids come in with their stuff in boxes, not necessarily trash bags, we still want them to have a piece that belongs to them and that is something that is theirs, that is something they can control, because foster kids don't get a lot of control in these situations."

Vanessa said one child can have as many as five or ten pieces of luggage to carry their belongings in, and she's excited to see her post get so much reach.

If you would like to donate luggage to foster children in our area, you can drop off new or used suitcases, backpacks, duffel bags, or purses at SAFY in Bowling Green.

SAFY is located at 1143 Fairway Street Suite 103 behind Steak 'n Shake.

You can also call Vanessa at (270) 331-0688 or the SAFY office at (270) 904-6307 for information about what they need most.

Vanessa has also shared information about other donation locations across Kentucky:

In Bowling Green:

1143 Fairway St. Ste. 103
Bowling Green, KY 42103
270-331-0688 (call/text)

In Elizabethtown:

708 Westport Rd.
Suite 103
Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Phone: 270-766-1397
Talk to Jesse

In Lexington:

861 Corporate Drive
Suite 101
Lexington, KY 40503
Phone: 859-971-2585
Ask for James or Victoria

In Louisville:

1169 Eastern Pkwy
Suite 3364
Louisville, KY 40217
Phone: 502-813-8280
Ask for Jinny or Kristy

In Northern Kentucky (Campbell County area):

1 Moock Road, Building B
Suite 101
Wilder, Kentucky 41071
Phone: 859-341-9333
Ask for Lisa or Tom

In Somerset:

3540 S Hwy 27
Suite 4
Somerset, KY 42501
Phone: 606-679-1815
Ask for Laura or Jennifer M.

For our other states:
South Carolina

Call Toll Free: 866-644-3738