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Hamilton County Job and Family Services

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Local businesses are partnering up to support an important cause that’s “in the bag.” Keep reading to learn more!

Jim Scott helping the Cases For Love campaign.
Julie Phillippi-Whitney with Jim Scott helping the Cases For Love campaign.

If you have a family you go home to every night, you’re one of the lucky ones. Foster children throughout the Tri-State don’t have family, and they often don’t have anything to carry their belongings as they navigate from home to home either.

After Julie Phillippi-Whitney, Owner and President of Phillippi-Whitney Communications, saw a story about this and other campaigns to collect suitcases for those children on a news program, she decided to do something about it.

Upon seeing the story, she contacted Hamilton County Jobs and Services to see if local foster children would benefit from a similar collection. That’s when she started Cases For Love, to help the children who live in foster homes carry their belongings in something other than garbage bags.

Once the agency confirmed the need for duffel bags and suitcases, Phillippi-Whitney contacted Susan Knabe, Director of Marketing at Sibcy Cline, so their 22 local offices could serve as a regional collection source for donations.

“Sibcy Cline, in turn, contacted the University Moving and Storage Company to become a partner, too,” explains Knabe. “They are going to all Sibcy Cline offices and collecting the suitcases for storage until they are delivered to Job and Family Services later in February.”

Cases For Love officially launched on Jan. 1, 2015 and runs through this Saturday, Feb. 14. The campaign is accepting suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks and cosmetic cases that are in new or gently used condition.

Knabe says public support for Cases For Love has been outstanding. “We’ve very touched by all of the generosity in making donations,” she adds.

“This amazing citywide effort could have never taken off without the continual support and guidance of Hamilton County Job & Family Services, and the generosity and countless man hours that both Sibcy Cline and University Moving and Storage have provided,” adds Phillippi-Whitney. “Cases For Love has been more successful than any of us ever dared hope or imagine.”

Donations currently sit at 3,300 suitcases, 387 new duffel bags and more than 80 new backpacks. Phillippi-Whitney says their original goal was 1,200 suitcases. Since that goal has already been far-exceeded, Phillippi-Whitney says they’ll now be able to help foster children in Hamilton and Butler counties and also Dayton and Northern Kentucky.

Knabe says that they hope to continue the partnership to help the area’s foster children meet a variety of needs that can help make a difference in their lives. “I hope that our efforts will bring further awareness to the critical and ongoing need for both foster and adoptive parents throughout Greater Cincinnati,” she says. “There are an estimated 900 children in the foster care system at Hamilton County at any given time who all need loving homes.”

To stay up-to-date on Cases For Love, “like” them on Facebook. To donate before the Feb. 14 deadline, bring donations to any Sibcy Cline location, the Second Story Auctions warehouse in Blue Ash or the University Moving and Storage Company in West Chester.