Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Laptop Donation!!!

What a day for Soleful Suitcases!

I came home from running errands today to find the UPS man walking up to my door with a fairly good size package. Knowing that I hadn't ordered anything recently, I was getting a little excited. Who doesn't like getting fun, packages in the mail unexpectedly?

I open up the box from Bill Hart, and find a laptop, all the cables and cords, and discs of software. Wow, what a blessing. What a huge blessing. This is the second laptop that has been donated, and we are so thrilled to be able to take such hugely needed items to a school in Jamaica.

Thanks Bill! Your donation means more than you'll ever know. Teachers will be able to educate better, and kids will be given the chance to learn more. Thanks so much!

If you'd like to donate to Soleful Suitcases and our upcoming trip in July 2013, there are several ways to help. You can donate your in good shape, still life left, adult athletic shoes. You can donate brand new adult socks. School supplies are welcome. Shop on Amazon via the link on the right hand size so we get credit to help pay for baggage fees. Or donate to our GoFundMe site at

Monday, March 18, 2013

Support SS via

I have set up a site for Soleful Suitcases on, a website designed to help people, projects, or events raise money to support their goal. I was trying to find an easy way for people all over to help with this upcoming trip, and GoFundMe seemed like a good way to go.

With GoFundMe you can contribute to the trip and designate what you want your gift to go towards; socks, school supplies, baggage fees, etc. Or you can just give to the general pot and all those proceeds will go towards whatever costs we incur. I'm hoping to have your support with this. Please consider helping out.

The link to Soleful Suitcases is here: 

You can also share the GoFundMe site with your friends and family via sending them to this blog, sharing it on facebook, twitter, or pinterest. The more that know about our trip, the more help we can bring to Jamaica.

Also, don't forget that you can help out by shopping on Amazon through our link. You can find that here  in the box on the right of the page. -->

Just as a reminder, or for those just tuning in, my family and I are headed to Jamaica in July 2013. We are hoping to bring 75 pairs of adult athletic shoes to the local population of hotel workers. With each pair of shoes, we'd also like to give 2 brand new pairs of socks. The people that work in these hotels work hard all day long, and don't make a great wage. By providing them with a pair of shoes, it allows them more comfort each day while they strive to provide for their families.
We are also adopting a local primary school, and hoping to bring them so much needed basic school supplies like crayons, colored pencils, kid scissors, pencils & pens, construction paper, and books for their library. The schools here are over-crowded and under-funded (sound familiar?). Supply donations like this are huge to them, and don't happen often, if ever. 

On our last trip in November 2012, we were able to give 60 pairs of shoes, 120 pairs of socks, and roughly 150 pounds of school supplies. We received a rock-star greeting at the school, and huge smiles from the hotel workers when we saw one wearing a new-to-them pair of shoes.
By setting up this GoFundMe site, we are hoping to have more involvement from friends and family that on our last trip said we were doing such good work, and they wished they could help, but didn't know how. Here is your how. Baggage fees have sky-rocketed, school supplies are costly, and once we get into Jamaica we still have to pay for transportation.  Thanks for all your help. Spread the word of our trip by sharing this blog or the GoFundMe site on your facebook feed, with your friends via email, or tweet about it. The more people that know, the more involved people can get and the more help to Jamaica we can provide. 

Share your shoes, share your love, share your world.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Big News at Soleful Suitcases!

You may be wondering why there is a picture of a laptop at the top of this post. Hummm... what could that mean? Well, I won't keep you in suspense any longer. It means we got the very first donation for our upcoming trip back to Jamaica!!!

That's right, you read that correctly. We are going back. This next trip is scheduled for July 2013. Just 4 short months away. And with such a short window, that means we don't have much time to gather donations and get things set.

Today got things jump-started though with a donation from Patti from KC Express for a laptop computer to be donated to a school. I'm so excited about this. A school will be able to use this. Teachers will be able to create lesson plans, hand-outs, or research a top. Students will learn to type, play educational games, and do school assignments on it. The possibilities are endless.

On the last trip we went on in November 2012, we were able to give 60 pairs of adult athletic shoes, 120 pairs of brand new socks (2 for each pair of shoes) to hotel workers where we stayed. We gave about 150 pounds of school supplies, books for their library, & a video projector to a local primary school. This filled 5 suitcases, and we hope to do it all again, and then some! Can you help us? Below is the list of items we are gathering, at full speed, to help make this trip a success!

What we need for our 2013 trip:

6 suitcases full of goodies, including:

-75 pairs of athletic shoes

-150 pairs of *new* socks (athletic, not dress)

-150 pounds of school supplies including new or gently used children's books. Age from "picture" books through "chapter" books.

-Working laptop(s)

-Thumb drives for teachers to save work on

-Digital camera(s) (with cords and software?)

-Baggage Fees paid for 100% with donations/fundraising roughly $330

(Baggage fees went up. The first 3 bags will now cost $35 each and any after that will be $75 each. Ouch!)

-6 suitcases