2008-07-31 / Other News

Local Pols Selected To Lead Lions' "Suitcase" Drive

Assemblyman Alan Maisel and former Assemblyman and former Surrogate Court judge Frank Seddio will lead a program for a new Lions Club International project geared to help homeless children.

"Kases for Kids" is a Lions Club project designed to help the child of today and the adult of tomorrow. It started in California and is now in Canada, Mexico and England.

Lions officials say that thousands of children are removed from their homes every day because the person taking care of them either cannot or will not care for them properly.

Children of all ages are removed from their homes and their possessions are placed in a plastic or paper bag. The children, traumatized by their pending displacement, see their personal belongings being placed into plastic bags commonly used for trash, and begins to wonder if their personal belongings are indeed simply trash! If this is so—are they now considered trash?

Giving the child a suitcase that has been gathering dust in a closet or storage area gives the child a little more dignity when appearing at a home or a relative or a foster home with their belongings. If the child has to travel to the new home, plastic or paper bags are not accepted by the bus or airlines. The child must then leave his/her few belongings behind.

The Brooklyn Canarsie Lions are asking for donations of intact suitcases and backpacks. The backpacks are for use when the child attends school. Both will be cleaned before giving them to a child, but we will add school supplies to the backpacks.

The Brooklyn Canarsie Lions will make these suitcases and backpacks available to public service agencies, police departments, child protective services, family welfare agencies, and other agencies that are charged with helping young people. Since this program started, more than 10,000 donations to displaced children have been made.

Drop-Off points for "Kases for Kids" for the Georgetown, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach areas will be the office of Assemblyman Alan Maisel, 2424 Ralph Avenue and for the Canarsie area will be the office of Frank R. Seddio in the Power Express office at 9306 Flatlands Avenue.

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