Right now, it feels like the whole world could use a little hope.

At our Weekend Miracles event, families and children experienced just that. It was difficult not to feel melancholic. But, as usual, the kids we champion couldn’t keep bright smiles off their faces. Before we knew it, we were smiling too!

We had an exceptional partner for our Weekend Miracles event in Los Angeles: Hope in a Suitcase! Hope in a Suitcase is a nonprofit with a simple and impactful mission. They provide kids in foster care with a quality suitcase and some essentials. Did you know that youth in foster care keep their possessions in a garbage bag? Each time they are placed in a new foster home, they gather their few belongings, put them in the trash bag, and move to a new family. Imagine that, trying to navigate life as a young person, without a stable family and only a flimsy trash bag for your earthly possessions. Hope in a Suitcase recognizes the indignity of this; they’re determined to make a difference!

Kidsave’s new Development Coordinator, Clarissa Casas, was attending her first Kidsave event. “Hope in a Suitcase has so graciously gifted clothes, purses, suitcases, toiletries, brand new shoes for our kids,” Clarissa said. She continued, “it’s awesome. Our kids are able to ‘shop’ today and choose new clothes for school.” Despite the uncertainty of the world, the kids’ happiness was infectious. After the event, a social worker contacted us to share that the kid in her care was delighted with the shoes he received. Earlier in the week, he’d gone shopping with other kids from his group home. The shopping trip left him discouraged, as he didn’t have enough money to buy anything. So, he was elated when he returned to the group home with a few new pairs and a suitcase full of goodies.

Esmeralda Luevano, Kidsave’s Weekend Miracles Program Coordinator, felt the optimism of the event. She first joined Kidsave as an intern and recently accepted an offer of employment. “We have grown quite a bit since the very beginning,” Esmeralda says, “when we first started, we could only serve 20 youth a year.”

Kidsave’s Family Visit Model was undoubtedly unique in the beginning, and it was easy to be skeptical. Since those days, our success has afforded us a level of trust in the adoption community, and we’re genuinely fortunate for it. It takes a village to help these kids meet potential families; working together is the only way it could be done. “Last year, we served over 80 youth,” Esmeralda says, “so we’ve been able to grow quite a bit and hopefully will continue to grow.”

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