It has become 15-year-old Dylan Maldonado’s mission to make sure every foster kid has a suitcase.
“Whenever they get moved in emergency placement, they come with garbage bags or even nothing,” he said. “I want them to have something to call their own.”
Dylan knows all too well what it’s like to carry everything he has in a garbage bag. He and his twin brother, Tyler, were once foster children.
“I just want to do something so that people can carry on,” Dylan said.
Their adoptive mother Doris said the boys had a difficult past. Their biological mother was addicted to drugs. Doris first took them in when they were 9 months old and four long years later, she adopted them.
“She overdosed. Their only biological relative was their grandmother; she passed away two weeks before their mother overdosed,” Doris said.
Doris is still a foster parent, and Dylan sees that they don’t have much. He’s been taking in the gently used bags and toiletries over the past year. So far, they’ve collected more than 300 suitcases for kids.
“I’m grateful that I’m in a good household with a good family because many other children aren’t as lucky,” said Dylan.