Newsroom

Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott
Governor

David E. Wilkins
Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Gillespie,
Press Secretary,
(850) 717-4450
DCF Communications
TALLAHASSEE POLICE DEPARTMENT COLLECTS HUNDREDS OF SUITCASES FOR FOSTER CHILDREN

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Thanks to support from businesses and law enforcement, hundreds of foster children will now have a new piece of luggage to call their own.

Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones speaks at the press conference, with many of the suitcases behind him.
Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones speaks at the
press conference, with many of the suitcases behind him.

Tallahassee Police Department Chief Dennis Jones announced at a press conference today that his agency collected 483 suitcases, duffle bags and more so that children who may be moving from their home would have something to pack their belongings in.

At the press conference, Chief Jones thanked Investigator Scherri Bryant, who he called the "brainchild" behind this community service project. "We have to take care of our children," Chief Jones said. "They are our future."

Jeanna Olson, Community Development Administrator for the Department of Children and Families, is working with the police department and Big Bend Community-Based Care to get the suitcases into the hands of foster children.

"I wish to sincerely thank the Tallahassee Police Department for reaching out to the community in support of our foster children," Olson said. "On an average, we see about 13 children removed from their home each month in the Tallahassee area. It is exciting to see the collaboration between the Tallahassee Police Department and our children in care."

The Tallahassee Police Department, the Department of Children and Families and others load the suitcases in the truck to distribute them to foster children.
The Tallahassee Police Department, the Department
of Children and Families and others load the suitcases
in the truck to distribute them to foster children.

This collaboration is just one example of the Department of Children and Families Partners for Promise initiative, which recognizes the ingenuity and compassion so many organizations have shown around the state and provides these ideas as a model to inspire others. The agency gathers offers from volunteers in communities across the state and matches them with appropriate needs. Since the program was kicked off on Dec. 5, more than 1,000 businesses of all sizes have joined to help make a difference in their communities.

"This partnership with the Tallahassee Police Department is a great example of what our Partners for Promise initiative is all about," said DCF Secretary David Wilkins. "Anyone can reach out to help someone in need in their community. I would like to especially thank the police department for their work in helping our foster children."

Investigator Scherri Bryant stands with the suitcases, including some with Disney designs for young children.
Investigator Scherri Bryant stands
with the suitcases, including some
with Disney designs for young children.

This program encourages Florida's businesses, large and small, to share their time, talents and resources in five focus areas, the "Five Promises for Florida."

  • Promise of Academic Success – focus on foster children mentoring and education.
  • Promise of Family Prosperity – focus on coaching families out of poverty.
  • Promise of Healthy Living – helping those who are either recovering from addictions as well as those who may be pregnant and in need of short-term help.
  • Promise of Child Safety – building stability in families during times of crisis.
  • Promise to Support our Seniors - helping to ensure that all Floridians receive the quality of life they deserve.

For more information or to become involved, please visit www.flpartnersforpromise.com.

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