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Artists, Amateurs Team up for Foster Kids

The only thing that should be put in trash bags is garbage, not your personal belongings. However, for foster kids across the country, that’s just how they have to move from home to home. Kids to Love, a nonprofit in the Huntsville area, teamed up with Unclaimed Baggage Center to make sure kids in North Alabama and South Tennessee have luggage to travel with when they move from home to home. 

This wasn’t just any luggage, either. Volunteers stopped by to paint hard-shelled luggage for foster kids to use. 

Brenda Cantrell, the director of Reclaimed for Good, the nonprofit arm of Unclaimed Baggage, said they normally host this event every Labor Day weekend but now they’re extending it to Memorial Day as well. 

“It’s been great, we’re really excited to have this out in the store,” Brenda said. “… Our state legislature signed a resolution declaring May 22 as Love Luggage Day in the state of Alabama. … We’re just having guests come in and paint suitcases that we’re going to give to our partner organization, Kids to Love.” 

While most of the people painting luggage were amateur artists at best, there were some professionals who showed up to unintentionally put everyone’s designs to shame. 

“We’re really excited when we see the artists come out and support this organization,” Brenda said. 

Michael Meigs studied art at the University of North Alabama and decided to use his talent to give back. 

“Besides loving art, I want to help in a way that I haven’t been able to before, so I think this is a great opportunity,” Michael said. 

While Michael painted a detailed scene from “Finding Nemo,” others went with simpler designs like dots, stripes and sail boats. 

At the end of the day, it’s not about the artistic talent you bring to this event, it’s about the love you can show to the foster kids in our area. To find out when another Love Luggage event is, follow the Kids to Love or the Unclaimed Baggage Center Facebook pages. 

About the author

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Jessie Harbin

Jessie is a newlywed living in Meridianville with her husband and three dogs. She's learning to sail on their 26-foot sailboat in Guntersville. At the time of publication, nobody has fallen ill because of her cooking.

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