1. Contact your local Department of Social Services Foster Care Director. Explain the project. Tell the Director that the suitcases could be distributed immediately to children in protective care and/or be stored for use when a child is taken into care.
    Ask these questions:
    • 1. How many suitcases would they like?
    • 2. Can they store the extras collected or do you need to find a church, friend or building where the surplus can be kept?
    • 3. Could they put you in contact with surrounding counties' foster care offices so that you might start the project there and maybe provide them with some of your extras?

  2. Make Copies of Aubyn's letter asking for help. Put your name and telephone number at the bottom of the letter.

  3. Make copies of the notices to put in church bulletins and club newsletters

  4. Contact 4-H Clubs, Girl Scout troops, Boy Scout troops, churches and community groups (like Jaycees, Lions, Rotary, etc.) to help. Give these groups copies of the letter to distribute to members. Speak to the group personally if possible. Ask for suitcases, backpacks, duffels, cloth grocery bags...anything that a child could use to carry his/her belongings in. * * *Make sure these groups know who will pick up suitcases from individual donors and where the suitcases should be taken (either to your home, your helpers' homes, or directly to the Department of Social Services).* * *

    Contact your local newspapers with the story. Try to get the newspaper to take a photograph of you and some suitcases to use with the story. Stories with photographs are much more frequently read than those without a picture. Newspapers always appreciate extra information that is already written down. So provide each paper with a copy of the article included with this kit for best coverage of your project.

  6. Make copies of Aubyn's official 'thank you' note. Send one to each person or group that donates suitcases. Everyone always appreciates being thanked!

  7. Sit back and wait for the telephone to ring with donations. The project has been an overwhelming success in every community in which it has been introduced. Remember! Your goal is to train people to automatically donate their unused suitcases to children in foster care...just like they recycle their old cans and newspapers.