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Wanted: Bounty to Help Boot the Garbage Bag

Raelene Gosselin is an 11-year-old foster child in Manitoba, Canada, and she's asking for support. I was happy to read in today's Winnipeg Sun that she's already getting some assistance from Murray and Linda Pitt of Merlyn Self-Storage (they've donated a free storage unit to Raelene's cause). It's always refreshing to see people in our business lending a helping hand.

Here's what's going down: Raelene has been in foster care since she was two. And in that time, she's met many other kids like herself, many of whom feel displaced and lonely and carry their few personal belongings around in plastic garbage bags.

Raelene read about a girl in the States who launched a campaign to collect duffle bags and small pieces of luggage for foster children. Recognizing there are 6,000 kids in foster care in Manitoba alone, she's now intiated her own drive. She's been using her allowance to buy bags as well as stuffed animals to put in them; but it might take her a while to hit the 6,000 mark! Obviously, donations would be very appreciated.

Merlyn Self-Storage has provided Raelene with a storage unit to use as a drop-off point for contributions. If you live in the Winnipeg area or are willing to mail donations, the facility address is 545 Hervo St., Winnipeg, MB R3T 3L6, Canada. The phone number is 204.453.0000. For more information, e-mail

It's very easy in this age of super-highway-wal-mart-fast-food-everything-self-serve-and-conveniently-packaged to walk around in a haze of perpetual disconnection from humanity. So when you see someone, particularly a child, with a semi-utopian vision, it's like witnessing falling star: No matter how often you see one, it's never any less spectacular.

Raelene wants other foster children to know they're not alone; and I'd like Raelene to know she's not alone. It's time to boot the garbage bag for these kids! So please send new or gently used duffle bags, sport bags, small luggage and stuffed animals to Manitoba. Don't we all have at least three collecting dust in a closet somewhere?

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