In 2020, the Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA) partnered with Bethany Christian Services to raise awareness of the needs of foster children in the state of Michigan and around the country.

MiPPA is asking attendees at its third annual leadership conference to bring gently used luggage to the April 20-21 event and leave it as a donation to the charity. Kids in foster care may be forced to move on a moment’s notice and, for some, as frequently as every three to six months. When the kids are told about their move, they are given two black trash bags to pack up all of their treasured possessions. The regional association notes that when these children to have something they can call their own— such as luggage or a large duffel—it can be a huge lift to their self-esteem and sense of value and dignity.

MiPPA members who are not attending the conference are encouraged to get in touch with the MiPPA leadership to arrange pick up of luggage and large duffel bag donations.

Several industry suppliers including BIC Graphic, Gemline and alphabroder/Prime have committed to donations of large duffels. Attendees to MiPPA events will have the opportunity to include a hand-written motivational, inspirational or encouragement note in the donated items.

A fundraising campaign is also being created through Bethany Christian Services, a global nonprofit network with more than 100 offices in 36 states and 15 countries with a focus on providing dignity, respect and normalcy for foster kids. Social Services does not pay for school field trips or other pay-for-play school activities. The money raised will be earmarked to allow foster kids to enjoy these activities with their classmates and friends at school. Two $500 pledges have started off the fundraising drive.

MiPPA will have representatives from Bethany Services at the Leadership Conference and at upcoming trade shows in Grand Rapids and Detroit.