‘Suitcase man’ delivers suitcases to foster care agencies across the state of Kentucky

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 9:19 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2020 at 11:32 PM EDT
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(WYMT) -Don Pratt is affectionately known as the ‘suitcase man’. A former single dad foster parent to more than four dozen children---he saw the effects and hardships foster children endure when moving from home to home.

“I saw kids coming in garbage bags and you know its sort of a tragic feeling for an adult to see that. The kids are sort of traumatized by the move anyway, so I doubt that that is as important as it is for us adults to see that,” he said.

So, twenty years ago he started collecting suitcases from wherever and whenever he could and donating them to foster care facilities not only in his hometown of Lexington but all across the state of Kentucky.

At the age of 75, “Friday I’ll probably have more in, next week Louisville. I just get around and I’m glad I can, I’m still agile enough,” said Pratt.

That brought him to Prestonsburg Wednesday.

“I had 500 pieces and I had to put it in my living room cause I don’t have a storage unit. Forty to fifty pieces inside, you can only see maybe what 10-15 here. "

Not just suitcases either. “Backpacks and duffel bags and carry bags so I got all this given to me and it’s incredible.”

Hoping he can spread that same joy to Eastern Kentucky.

“I was so naïve when I became a foster parent you know I’ve never known abuse.”

Saying this experience opened his eyes, especially after fostering more than six dozen foster children.

“I have had a vast education by becoming a foster parent which I have never expected.”

Taking what he has learned and putting it to good use more and more.

“I hope they have multiple purposes and that kids find it useful more than once,” he said.

Hoping they will have something to call their own.

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