Cases For A Cause donates a suitcase to every resident at Nazareth Child & Family Connection

(Source: Nazareth Child & Family Connection)
(Source: Nazareth Child & Family Connection)
Updated: Aug. 30, 2018 at 7:57 AM EDT
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ROCKWELL, NC (WBTV) - From Nazareth Child & Family Connection: About 50 residents at Nazareth Child & Family Connection received suitcases over the weekend from Cases For A Cause to help make their often transitional life a bit easier.

The group's goal is to ensure each of the young residents at Nazareth has a suitcase. Not only were all residents given suitcases on Saturday, the suitcases were packed with all types of goodies, from movie and concession gift cards to free pizza and haircuts gift certificates.

"No matter if they are leaving tomorrow or if they are here (Nazareth) for a long time, they know these suitcases are theirs," said Alex Hiatt, one of the group's founders. "And regardless of what they face in life, they know there are people who care about them."

Hiatt and his wife Katie, who have volunteered at Nazareth Child and Family Connection for several years, came up with the idea of supplying the suitcases earlier this summer when their church, Nazareth Community Church held a week-long stay-at-home mission on the campus. During that week they became aware that many of the residents did not have anything to carry their belongings while in transition.

They formed Cases For A Cause on June 28, and with the help of other volunteers, went about raising funds to purchase the suitcases and fun items to fill them. In less than two months they raised over $11,000 in cash and items to include in the suitcases.

Not only were they able to purchase the 50 suitcases they needed to present on Saturday, they bought an additional 20 to have for residents that may transition into Nazareth in the coming months. The group's long-term objective is to have a consistent supply of suitcases for all Nazareth residents in the future.

"Our goal going forward is for every child that comes in to get one," said Alex Hiatt. "We want to have them ready to deliver right over to them. We want to do our best that every child is taken care of."

"The generosity of our community always amazes us," said Vernon Walters, president and CEO of Nazareth Child & Family Connection. "It's unbelievable how quickly the Hiatts were able to put this together and deliver the suitcases to our residents. And it will have a lasting impact on all of the residents."

About 50 volunteers showed up on Friday night to help prepare the 33-inch rolling duffels, packing them with the many items that were donated.

"Because we had spent time with them (the residents) before, we knew what lots of them wanted to do," said Alex Hiatt. "Movies and pizzas … things they wanted but maybe couldn't get. Lots of times they could go to the movies, but not have money for concessions. With the gift cards they go, they will be able to do both now."

Local businesses that donated to the project include Cici's Pizza of Salisbury, East Coast Wings and Grill, Encore on Main, Cinemark Tinseltown USA of Salisbury, Great Clips of Salisbury, Harwood Signs of Granite Quarry, Joe Gibbs and Game Plan for Life of Huntersville, Nothing 2 Lose Motorcyle Shop of Salisbury, Tax Centers of America, The Forum of Salisbury and Thrivent Financial of Salisbury

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