By Maddy PUMILIA
The Crescenta-Cañada Lions Club is hosting its second annual Kases For Kids, a charity event aimed to give foster children something of their own.
The event is in conjunction with the Los Angeles Mid-Valley Lions Club working with the L.A. Department of Children Services. They hope to collect suitcases ¬– with wheels preferred – or backpacks and the items to put inside, such as toiletries, a stuffed animal or a blanket.
“When [kids] are removed from their homes, they have nothing but a plastic bag or usually nothing,” said Crescenta-Cañada Lions Club member Dee Rinaman.
“I’m just really looking forward to seeing the community response,” Crescenta-Cañada Lions Club president Art Rinaman said. “Hopefully, the community cleans out their closets and supports the Lions Club.”
The Lions Club will be collecting items at the Ralph’s parking lot in the 2600 block of Foothill Boulevard, at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Raymond Avenue, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. After that date, people can continue to donate until Sept. 3 by calling Dee at (818) 248-0478.
Last year, the Club collected 157 cases, exceeding L.A. Mid-Valley’s goal. Art wants to double that this year, collecting more than 300 suitcases overall. So far, the Club has received 15 suitcases, some filled. Many of the suitcases come from Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Montrose.
“It’s a passion with me because I love the kids,” said Dee.
She shared her experience from last year. “I almost cried. A lady brought five suitcases and they were all filled. They were brand new … the community is just amazing … the outreach they show. The compassion.”
Extra suitcases – ones that can’t fit into the L.A. County Child Services vans – will be given to kids at battered women shelters.
The suitcases can be new or old. Suggested items that could be placed inside include a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, soap, washcloth, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, comb, hairbrush, lotion, Kleenex, notebook or notepad, paper, pens, pencils, markers, sharpeners, erasers, highlighters, crayons, stuffed animal and blankets. The community can donate suitcases with or without these items or the community could just donate items.
The Crescenta-Cañada Club meets the first and third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the conference room of the Citibank on Honolulu Avenue. Anyone is welcome to join the club.