Posted at: 10/11/2012 8:15 PM
Updated at: 10/11/2012 9:52 PM
By: Liz Lastra, KOB Eyewitness News 4
After holding on to a suitcase for more than twenty years, Melissa Meechan is ready to let it go.
“I think I counted between this morning and now 14 moves that I made with this set of luggage," she said.
Meechan grew up in the State's foster program.
“My first venture into foster care I was ten years old," she said.
The bag was a gift from a step dad she had lost touch with.
“He took me out and bought me luggage. And we've kept each other since then so he's my dad now," she said.
Her bag is one of a hundred donated by San Juan County Rotary to the state's Children Youth and Families Department.
Governor Susana Martinez was there to thank the group.
“Often when a child is removed from a home--their own home--their belongings, clothing, their prized possessions are placed in trash bags. That's their piece of luggage," she said.
The Governor challenged other groups across the state to collect even more bags for kids in their own counties.
“And then when they're removed from home they have their personal things in a place that gives them some dignity," said Martinez.
Though the bag is faded and weathered now, and an emotional Meechan hopes it will bring another child some comfort.
“I kind of feel sad because it's probably one of the ugliest bags because it's 21 years old...but I hope somebody cherishes it," she said.
The department is holding an orientation meeting for people curious about adopting or becoming a foster parent in San Juan County Oct. 18 at 5:30 p.m. at their Farmington location.
To find a complete list of orientations visit cyfd.org