Love in Transit: Donate new or gently used bags by Nov. 4

This article was published on: October 24th, 2022

a woman and a young girl wait at a train station with luggage

Do you have any gently used backpacks, duffels, totes, or suitcases that you aren’t sure what to do with? Perhaps, you have the ability to donate new items or children’s themed bags?

Until November 4, you can drop these items off to the International office at either the Daniel J. Patterson Campus or the Welland Campus. Items will be donated to local organizations through a new initiative called Love in Transit.

Founded by Be World Ready (BWR) team member and International Mobility Assistant Rebecca Morrison, and operated by the BWR program, Love in Transit is grounded in the belief that every person deserves to continue their path, or embark on a new one, to reach their next destination with love, care and dignity.

“The concept for this initiative developed during the pandemic from watching many news segments about the increase of people struggling, whether financially or trapped in situations of domestic violence, and leaning on organizations that offer assistance,” said Morrison. “Everyone deserves so much more than to carry pieces of their life in a garbage bag, and from that Love in Transit was born.”

Together, students, staff and members of the community can unite together for a common goal: to provide vulnerable community members with a little ‘Love in Transit.’ Through the program, the BWR team will work in partnership with local organizations such as Women’s Place of South Niagara, YWCA and Village of Hope, to assist citizens who are transitioning from shelter life to independent living.

“Often when women arrive to stay in the shelter, they arrive with very little,” shared Teagan Ford, Women’s Place of South Niagara Inc. Fundraising and Events Manager. “Love in Transit will allow shelter residents to have the necessary items they require to get back on their feet so they can begin their lives free from abuse. Donated backpacks, bags and luggage will follow them on their journey, wherever it may take them.”

BWR is uniquely positioned within the Niagara College community, and by extension the broader community through the friends and family members of our staff and students, to bring light to the need for the collection of gently used backpacks, duffels, totes and suitcases to donate to local organizations that assist some of our region’s most vulnerable citizens.

“We were delighted to hear of the Love in Transit initiative of Niagara College’s Be World Ready program,” shared Cheryl Keddy Scott, Executive Director of Village of Hope.

“The idea of soliciting gently used luggage to be donated for our neighbours in need is so thoughtful and necessary. Each year we have many clients who are in precarious situations and need to gather their belongings for a move – whether leaving a relationship, eviction from a residence… – secure storage of personal belongings is naturally important to everyone. We try to provide quality luggage cases to all of our clients, subject to availability, so this program is very important, and we’re grateful for the initiative.”

Morrison explained how baggage is a frequent topic of conversation as students depart on international field studies once per term.

“I often find that many people do not know what to do with their used backpacks, duffels, totes, or suitcases after they are no longer of use to the original owner,” she said. “This initiative gives people an opportunity to give new life to those items, while giving some of our fellow community members a little Love in Transit as they transition to their next destination.”

Love in Transit supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, the initiative aligns with Goal 10 – Reducing Inequalities – as it seeks to dignify and facilitate a meaningful life change in vulnerable community members. It also supports Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production – as the initiative contributes to the reuse of resources and the reduction of waste by encouraging the community to donate items they are no longer using. These items are being used again, increasing their life span and preventing them from being sent to the landfill.

Goal 17 – Partnerships for the Goals – is also relevant. By partnering with local organizations to help citizens who are transitioning from shelter life to independent living, the initiative demonstrates how shared efforts can help improve the quality of life of vulnerable community members.

Donation collection periods

  • Fall 2022: October 11 – November 4, 2022
  • Winter 2023: February 13 – March 3, 2023
  • Spring 2023: April 17 – May 5, 2023

Description of items being collected

Backpacks

  • Standard backpacks suitable for school, workplace or everyday use
  • Themed backpacks for children that would be appropriate for school or everyday use (e.g. Disney, Marvel, DC Universe, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Sesame Street, etc.)

Duffel Bags

  • All sizes are welcome. Larger sizes are preferred.
  • Clean hockey bags are accepted.

Totes

  • Must be able to close/zip/fasten shut
  • Overnight bags
  • No reusable store or grocery bags please

Suitcases

  • All sizes welcome. Larger bags are best.
  • Children’s themed luggage (e.g. Disney, Marvel, DC Universe, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Sesame Street, etc.)

Who to contact

For any questions regarding donations or the initiative, please contact:

Rebecca Morrison
International Mobility Assistant
[email protected]
905-735-2211 x7482

For more information about Be World Ready, please visit beworldready.ca.