West Georgia CME Luggage DriveTake a moment to imagine being removed from your home, not knowing where you will be going, and having nothing suitable for your belongings other than a trash bag. This is what happens every day to children placed in foster care.
In response, the West Georgia Region (CME Church) Board of Christian Education supported the “Pan- Methodist Campaign Luggage Drive for Children in Poverty and Foster Care” during its Annual Conference. Over 100 pieces of new luggage were given to the following agencies that service children in the foster care system: Benchmark Foster Care Services, Inc, Muscogee County Department of Family and Children Services, and CASA.
The luggage drive was designed to give agencies the resources needed to rid “the trash bag” perception for the children affected. Ms. Shiann W. Williamson, Campaign Coordinator for the West Georgia Region, reports on the story and impact of a former foster care child who spoke at the worship service celebrating the luggage drive:
“The speaker shared from a place, that many of us cannot imagine, which showed her amazing resilience. She enriched our spirit by opening up her life to us. And she increased our church/community awareness to get involved with children at risk to poverty.
“The speaker brought tears to our eyes as she explained how she was able to overcome her own unstable and unpleasant childhood moving from one place to another in the foster care system. She did not allow herself to be overtaken in her place of darkness and sadness even though she was rejected and abused by her mother and targeted by other children in school.
“She always excelled academically which was a blessing for her. She presently is a senior at Columbus State University. She just completed an internship abroad in Costa Rica. She is an intern with the Russell County Juvenile Court and works full time. She is also a 2011 Recipient of a Scholarship from the Georgia Celebration of Excellence—a scholarship for foster children. She continues to seek a positive relationship with the family who rejected her and she holds no resentment.
“We hope that our luggage blessing will be helpful to the agencies that serve children in poverty and foster care. Special thanks is given to Bishop Kenneth W. Carter for leading the West Georgia Region in giving additional funds to purchase new luggage pieces for the luggage campaign.”
Cheryl Johnson, West Georgia Region, South Columbus Cordele District Children in Poverty Coordinator; Rev. Billy Holloway- North Columbus/Lagrange District Children in Poverty Coordinator; Shiann Williamson, West Georgia Region Pan –Methodist Campaign for Children in Poverty Director