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  • Bags Not Rags Effort at Shreveport Campus Helps Foster Kids in Transition


    Contributed by Kristi Kohl, Campus Librarian

    Did you know that many children placed into foster care often use trash bags to carry their belongings?

    Recently, several National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) members at our Shreveport Campus began collaborating with a local organization to collect suitcases, duffel bags, and backpacks for foster children in an effort to ensure that uprooted children never have to carry their belongings in trash bags again.

    Bags Not Rags Initiative Began in Shreveport, Louisiana
    Andres ("Andrew") and Mindy Viteri founded Bags Not Rags in Shreveport, Louisiana, in June 2010. Their national campaign collects new and gently used suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks, totes, and diaper bags for foster children.

    The organization distributes these donated bags to individuals who work for social services and other local children's agencies and are responsible for moving children into foster care. These people give the donated gear to children who would otherwise be moving from house to house with their belongings in garbage bags. Bags Not Rags wants to make sure that no foster child ever feels like their dearest belongings appear insignificant or worthless, like trash.

    "We live in the greatest country in the world, but there are so many needs in our foster care system. If every person would pick just one need and fill it, we could provide the best possible foster care system for our children…. Not all of us are meant to be foster parents, but we can all help in a small way to make sure that our foster care system improves," said Bags Not Rags co-founder Mindy Viteri.

    Why Our Shreveport Campus NTHS Chapter Took Up the Cause
    The Shreveport NTHS group is determined to help eliminate the likelihood that children in foster care will ever have to carry their belongings in garbage bags again.

    Recent Medical Billing and Coding graduate and NTHS member Audrey Davis commented, "Helping people means a lot to me, and the NTHS at Remington in Shreveport has allowed me to do just that. Being a part of Bags Not Rags gives me the opportunity to get friends and family involved in something real and important: GIVING.

    I went to my job and explained what Bags Not Rags was, and all my co-workers got on board. I did the same at my father's workplace…. We placed totes in the lobby with flyers and watched the bags pile up. How GREAT is that!?"

    For more information on the Bags Not Rags effort and how you can help, visit http://www.bagsnotrags.com/.