By Brenda L. Holmes
AVON — Members of the Exchange Club of Hendricks County are collecting suitcases and bags for Jordan’s Place in Brownsburg.
Jordan’s Place is an organization that helps newly fostered families gather supplies for new foster children.
“I heard about Jordan’s place through Bob, one of our members,” said Cynthia Hunter, chairperson for the Project Committee of Exchange Club. “I thought it was a good fit for our group because we want to support agencies that help prevent child abuse or help at-risk children.”
Terry and Ruth Blackburn, co-founders of Jordan’s Place, are the husband/wife team that makes up the staff of the non-profit agency. Ruth Blackburn and her mother, Ostella Honeycutt, will be speaking to Exchange Club during its next meeting at noon Jan. 19 at Charbonos, 128 S.R.. 267, Avon.
“My wife, Ruth, and my mother-in-law, will actually be speaking to the Exchange Club,” Terry Blackburn said. “My mother-in-law, Ostella, is on the board of directors.”
Items being collected include suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks, and tote bags. Donations may be dropped off at AAA Hoosier Motor Club, 8100 U.S. 36, Avon; Crager-Bartels Real Estate, 2430 E. Main St., Avon; or at the Hendricks County Flyer, 8109 Kingston St., Ste. 500, Avon.
Blackburnsaid giving a foster child a suitcase or bag of their own helps build the child up in a difficult time.
“It’s really important to give them a sense of ownership,” he said. “All they may own could be in a box or in the back seat of a car. Oftentimes they don’t get to take anything with them.”
The Blackburns have been foster parents since retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2005. Jordan’s Place became open to the public in ‘08.
“One thing we do with the kids who come live with us is go shopping at Walmart and buy them a plastic tote with drawers in it,” Blackburn said. “That becomes their tote and they know it will go with them. The bags that you guys will be collecting will be given to kids who may have never had one of their own.”
Bags may also be dropped off between noon and 1 p.m. each Wednesday at Charbonos restaurant in Avon until the end of the drive.
“And if someone comes to Charbonos to drop off a suitcase, they can stay for lunch if they want to know more about Exchange,” Hunter said.
The Exchange Club of Hendricks County meets at noon each Wednesday at Charbonos. Members of the community are encouraged to visit the club meetings for lunch and to find out more about Exchange. The club is also on Facebook.
For more information about Jordan’s Place, visit the website at www.jordan-place.org.