A few years ago, a young West Virginia boy was finally able to get out of his abusive home and into foster care.
Ready for a new start, the boy hurriedly packed his meager belongings. He didn't have a duffel bag or suitcase, so he stuffed what little he had into a garbage bag.
When he arrived at his foster home, he found garbage inside the bag instead of his belongings.
In his haste, the boy grabbed the wrong bag.
This story has stuck with U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin ever since a child caseworker told it to him two years ago.
It's also spurred him to action.
"Can you imagine how that would feel?" Goodwin asked. "To have to carry your belongings, what little you may have, in a garbage bag and then to open it to find garbage?
Goodwin's office is partnering with local advocacy groups to make sure children heading into foster care have everything they need to make a good transition.
Goodwin, the state's Southern District attorney, and representatives from Mission West Virginia and the Children's Home Society announced the "Give Thanks and Carry On" campaign earlier this week. It's part of Mission West Virginia's Carry On campaign, which runs year round.
To each of those kick-off events, held in Charleston, Beckley, Princeton and other locales, Goodwin carried a black and gray camouflage rolling suitcase packed with a blanket, books, toiletries and a few games. The bag also included a hand-crank flashlight, which he said was very popular with his own son.
He said often the children are transitioning into foster care from homes where they were abused or neglected. They aren't given very much time to pack their things before they are removed from their homes, he said, and often grab the first thing they can find.
More often than not, it's a garbage bag.
"This program is designed to give them something other than a garbage bag to carry with them and some form of care package. And it can be anything they think a child would need or want in transition," Goodwin said.