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Valrico mom packing suitcases for foster kids aging out of system

Posted at 9:35 PM, Nov 03, 2021

VALRICO, Fla — Bernetta Knighten has set a goal, to bring dignity to the process of "aging out" of Florida's Foster Care System.

"To me, they are a forgotten population," she said, "They were given then trash bags for them to put their things in, and if they didn't have somewhere to go like college or back to a family member, they were literally homeless."

The Valrico mom started a non-profit, called the Knighten Project, several years ago with the goal of making a difference in the world around her.

"One thing me and my husband have always said is that we want to be blessed to be a blessing," she said.

To continue being that blessing, last year, during the pandemic, she set her sights on foster kids.

Knighten said she wanted to make sure that the kids who moved on, could do it with everything they needed and a new suitcase to carry it all in.

"So it was kind of the perfect time to be that lending hand because again who else is going to help them? Once you turn 18 you're considered an adult," she said.

In 2020, they set a goal of packing 25 suitcases, but through donations, they ended up giving away 94.

This year, they're hoping to top that number and they say you can help them do it.

"You can go to our website, the, and click on our current campaign you can donate a brand new suitcase, or you can donate the essential items we put inside the suitcases or you can donate cash and we can purchase the items ourselves," she said.

To learn more about Knighten's "Packing with Purpose" initiative, click here.