A Case for Comfort

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The disposable and unwanted. That’s what ends up in trash bags – those things that are of no use anymore.

So what does it say about our foster-care system that a child’s possessions can be (and are) put into one garbage bag? What message are we sending those children as they navigate through life? What does such cavalier treatment reveal about us?

When entering a foster home for the first time after losing his parents, Rob Scheer carried all of his possessions in a single black garbage bag. When he left the foster-care system, seven years later, he toted everything he owned the same way. One throwaway bag for a thrown-away child.

Rob’s case is not unusual – in fact, the four foster children currently under his care arrived to their new home exactly the same way – garbage bag in tow.

However, Rob did not accept that the parameters of a life could be defined by the dimensions of a garbage bag. As a “graduate” of the system, Rob wanted to give foster children a more dignified entree to their new life by eliminating the stigma of garbage-bag suitcases.

Together with his daughter Amaya, Rob created Comfort Case – an organization providing a small suitcase, duffel bag, or backpack to foster children (in the Washington D.C. area).

Inside the colorful totes are:

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