A group of students in Molly Remer’s Working With Communities and Organizations class at the Columbia College campus in Rolla have collected 126 suitcases and duffel bags for children in foster care.
The group more than doubled its goal, which was set at 50 suitcases and bags. The collection took place over the recent eight-week semester at the campus.
Many of the students who organized the collection were either former foster parents or foster children themselves.
One of the students in the class, Traci Brookshire, a former foster care parent, noted that many children in the foster care system move around with all of their possessions in trash bags.
Students asked for donations of new or gently-used duffel bags or suitcases for area children to use instead.
Brookshire said she came up with the idea “to help kids” in foster care.
In addition, students in the class also held a bake sale and raised $200.
Brookshire said the students are looking for a group to continue their work of collecting bags and suitcases for the children. Any organizations that are interested can contact the children’s division of the local family services group.
Remer noted that the class is a community organization class that “is about working to make a difference.”
Remer said students are given a chance each semester to come up with their own project and if they successfully complete it, they do not have to write a paper.