For the second year in a row, Ashland City attorney Crystal Morgan hopes to provide necessity-filled suitcases to Cheatham County children entering the foster care system. This holiday season, Morgan, in partnership with Bethlehem Free Will Baptist Church and with help from the community, anticipates raising 100 suitcases for children in need, double last year’s total of 50.
As a family law attorney now in her sixth year, Morgan has seen countless heart-breaking scenarios where children are forced to pack their belongings into garbage bags as they are thrust into new environments, surrounded by unfamiliar faces. The suitcase project aims to give these children a sense of security and something to call their own when they may feel overwhelmingly displaced.
According to Morgan, Cheatham County currently has 59 children within the foster care system; that number doesn't include the 89 families DCS is working with who are also in need of the agency’s services.
“As our county continues to grow, this need will also continue to grow. Being in juvenile court every week, I see how children are directly impacted and it breaks my heart. These are the children that need us,” says Morgan, a strong child advocate.
Between now and December 1, gender neutral suitcase donations will be accepted at The Law Office of Crystal Morgan located at 106 N. Main Street in Ashland City, The Shop of Pleasant View located at 2556 Pleasant View Road, or Bethlehem Free Will Baptist Church located at 1709 HWY 12 in Ashland City.
Carry-on sized suitcases should be filled with new/unopened necessities like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, lotion, tooth brushes, toothpaste, stuffed animals, blankets, loofahs, and diapers. As per the safety rules of DCS, razors are prohibited.
“These are the children that we are supposed to love on and care for. It's too easy to not think about them because everyone is busy, but I see these kids all the time and they NEED us. I wish I could do more for them, but the suitcases supply a need right when they enter foster care, and that's something we, as a community, can do for them,” Morgan adds passionately.
If you have an questions regarding this project, please call (615) 246-1193 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.