Hometown Hero: Suitcases for KY Kids

Don Pratt spends his time collecting donated suitcases and giving them to foster kids

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – You probably have a suitcase you no longer need tucked away somewhere. One man in Lexington spends his time collecting those and giving them to others who can put them to use.

It’s called Suitcases for KY Kids and the man behind it, Don Pratt, collects them to give to foster kids.

“As a foster dad, I saw kids coming in garbage bags and I realized that you know, I could collect luggage and I could give’em to kids so they can move in something other than a bag,” explained Pratt.

A typical day for Pratt involves lifting and sorting donated suitcases which he stores in his garage.

“This is probably 100-150,” pointed out Pratt.

The luggage comes from all over.

“I’ve honestly been so successful collecting them constantly, I’m just glad to go out and deliver,” said Pratt.

The agencies in need are spread out across the state.

“One week, I made eight deliveries so I was on the road a lot,” said Pratt.

And the luggage isn’t just for kids, Pratt did a special collection for tornado victims in Western Kentucky.

“Nobody was bringing luggage, so people were moving in boxes,” shared Pratt.

It’s a passion going strong for more than 20 years, “Seldom do I get a thank you note or, other than a ‘thanks’.” But Pratt says he doesn’t expect that in return. In fact, he doesn’t even get to see the faces of those who receive the suitcases.

As for why he dedicates so much of his time doing this, Pratt says, “The trauma of being forced to leave your home and your environment is bad enough but for the older kids to be considered garbage and trash was disgusting.”

He’s collected thousands of suitcases over the years and while its not easy work, Pratt says it is fulfilling.

“I live every chance I get to do something good,” said Pratt.

If you know a Hometown Hero, submit a nomination HERE or email ABC 36’s Erica Bivens: ebivens@wtvq.com.

Anyone looking to donate a new or used suitcase can contact Pratt HERE or email him at: dbp91044@gmail.com or call 859-552-2235.

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