Valley foster children to receive new duffel bags thanks to donation from DHL, American Airlines

Arizona News

One hundred new rolling duffel bags were delivered to Child Crisis Arizona on Thursday thanks to a DHL and American Airlines partnership in the season of giving.

Child Crisis Arizona, which offers emergency shelter, foster and adoption services, sees children come into their facilities with little to nothing. 

“Often when kids come into our emergency children’s shelter, they come with very few items in trash bags,” Allison Hurtado, a Child Crisis Arizona spokeswoman, said.  

The idea of the donation began a year ago when Elizabeth Pond, American Airlines regional sales director, was looking for better ways to partner. 

“(Pond) asked the question, ‘What can we do that would enhance a partner relationship beyond just a corporate contract?'” Kem Browning, American Airlines account manager, said.

Around the same time, Michelle Peters, DHL regional category manager, had read about foster care kids and the impact it has on them.

When Browning and Peters got together for lunch, an idea was born. 

“In the travel industry, we have suitcases, bags and totes around us all day long. I thought we can do something about this,” Peters said. 

The bags were filled with American Airlines amenity kits, crayons, luggage tags, stuffed animals and journals. 

The journals included handwritten notes from DHL employees and even their own children. 

“We were very moved and it was inspirational all around,” Lizette Segura, DHL facilities manager, said. 

The bags will be distributed to children in the emergency shelter and foster homes. 

“We want to make sure that these kids have everything they need to transition from our care to wherever they’re going next,” Hurtado said. 

Reach the reporter at Follow her on Twitter at @alexafuenmay.

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