photos provided by: @Andreal Mallard/Game Changers Media Network
All children need a home to provide a sense of security and unconditional love. Unfortunately, for many children, “home” is a place devoid of these necessities. In 1995, a group of concerned Henry County citizens decided to take a stand for abused, neglected and abandoned children. The result was A Friend’s House, a home for children in crisis.
The doors opened on October 27, 1998 and over 2050 children have been welcomed since. A Friend’s House operates as a home for children in the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services. Residents stay for an unspecified length of time while a best course of action is determined based on a child’s assessment needs.
About a friend's house
As I approach a significant milestone birthday, I began to reflect on my journey. The purpose of life is not about what you receive. It's about what you give. One of the greatest rewards of life is giving. In reflecting on this wonderful ride, I began to ponder what can I give to this life that has given so much to me. My reflection took me to last year, 2018, and a memorable visit to A Friend’s House with “the hardest working class” of Leadership Henry. A Friend’s House is an organization that provides a home to children in transition. The work that they’ve done to make this temporary location feel like home to so many children is AMAZING. One of my classmates asked a question of what is needed most. The guide’s reply was suitcases. She explained that kids can arrive abruptly and transition from place to place. She went on to say that most of the time, they are only able to transport their items in trash bags. That wrenched my heart until this day. You can only imagine the trauma experienced of being forced to leave your home, which is bad enough and now to move so swiftly that the only way to transport their belongings is in a trash bag. I said to myself I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I will support this organization. In honor of this milestone birthday, I am pledging 40 suitcases to this organization. The suitcases will be given to the kids as a parting gift as they transition on their journey. It will allow them to transport their clothes, favorite mementos, shoes and anything else that means something to them. Please join me in this pledge. We are seeking new suitcases and have provided a link to purchase on this site. If you wish to give a monetary donation, please make checks payable to A Friend’s House and include “40suitcase drive” in the memo field. We have sponsorships available as well.
DEW FESTIVAL 2023
A 40th Birthday Wish that brought a Community Together!
Written by Kianna Porter-Simons
Saturday, August 10, 2019, was a day full of smiles, laughter, tears, and many suitcases. Kena Searcy has an amazing heart and her desire to share her birthday and use it to raise gifts for children who need suitcases to put their belongings in is so admirable! The goal of the 40/40 Suitcase Drive was to raise 40 suitcases for the children of A Friend’s House for Kena’s 40th birthday, however this goal was amazingly surpassed with over 120 suitcases donated and raised over $1,300 in monetary donations to assist the children with any additional necessities. Cowboy Chicken was the gracious host of this event which resulted in many full and happy stomachs from the delicious grub that was available to attending donors. During the event, the spokesperson for A Friend’s House told those in attendance many heartfelt stories about the thrill children feel when they have a suitcase because it actually makes them feel as if they are traveling somewhere special similar to that feeling you get when going on a trip. That definitely pulled on the heartstrings of everyone in the room. Once all eyes were dry, everyone sang happy birthday to the birthday girl. Kena, then proceeded to give her thanks for the birthday wishes but most of all for the abundance of community support that made the event a success.
“The love and support of our community was A-MAZING! I am still full. Thank you to all that came out, donated, prayed, talked about it and spread the word. One of the highlights is A Friend’s House has a resident leaving for college this week. She can take her pick of luggage as a parting gift as she starts her college journey. We were able to donate over 120 suitcases and counting since people are still donating! As well as over $1300 from our wonderful sponsors Dwight L Thomas PC, The I’m Loving Me Project, Chavous-Williams Trucking & Farming, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in Detroit, MI, Walgreens, and Michael Langford. Thank you, Lydia of Pierre Branding Group, for your wonderful work on making this vision a reality,” Kena expressed when reminiscing the success of her 40th celebration.
“Oh, my goodness!!! It was over the top! It was so wonderful to talk to see your heart and love for our kids here at A Friend’s House. It indeed takes a village and we are so glad that you and all the ones who donated so generously are side by side with us as we strive to make a difference for these teens,” stated Kay Robison when expressing her gratitude for the plentiful amount of donations.
Not only has Kena raised many suitcases and monetary donations for a great cause, she also brought the community together in a beautiful way that will never be forgotten. Everyone in attendance were completely and utterly delighted in watching the suitcases take off in flight to children in need so those very children could take off in flight to a bigger and brighter future.
Still want to support?
You can still help us reassure children that we value them as individuals, but also that their personal belongings deserve the same respect and care as they do, no matter where they go. Feel free to shop this registry and send your bag directly to A Friend's House.
Please reach out
to learn more about the Sponsorship Opportunities available with the 40/40 Suitcase Drive as well as any other questions you may have about this event.
PR & Media Contact:
Lydia Pierre, Pierre Branding Group
Phone: 1 (646) 535-9342