We had a little and sweet girl arriving at midnight carrying all she could in an overstuffed school bag and coat pockets. Another girl had her social worker carrying canvas shopping bags full of randomly organised clothes and teddies. Another child carried all her belongings in two pink gift bags with a glittery princess printed on it.

While sifting through their belongings I’m constantly surprised how disorganised and irrational the content of these bags can be: 3 pairs of socks but one single t-shirt, one extra pair of shoes but no underwear. The most consistent set of clothes they come with is what they have on them at the time they get to our place, and even that can consist of just a PJ’s, a winter jacket, and a hat.

A few days ago I saw this message on Twitter:

I'm hearing more & more stories of #lookedafterchildren being moved using binbags! this was stopped yrs ago. How are we back here #nobinbags

The conversation on Twitter went on for a while, and everyone had a sad episode to tell. Then I received a reply from someone who could offer help:

That’s how I first heard about the great work MadLug is doing, and has done in the last 3 years. We got in contact with Dave Linton, the company founder, who kindly agreed to tell us all about his company.

Restoring dignity

In the spring of 2014, while Dave Linton was attending an introduction to fostering course, he was shown a video interview with a young girl in a wheelchair who made the following statement:

Health Trusts don’t provide suitcases. Sometimes foster carers loan us a suitcase but more often our belongings are moved in black plastic bin bags and we lose our dignity.

This statement really stuck with Dave and for the remainder of the evening he thought of nothing else but the fact that these children’s had no option but to move their belongings in bin bags.

He went on to found, MadLug, a lifestyle brand selling luggage, backpacks, gym bags, and journals. Each sale made on the online shop is matched with a donation of a bag to a child in care.

Sell, sell, sell

He started with just £480. He established the brand, purchased some bags, and got selling online. As orders started rolling in, he quickly realised that the company business model could sustain itself, while at the same time make a difference for many vulnerable children. Already 1100 MagLug products have been sold to date, with the same number given to children in care. The free bags are unbranded to avoid stigmatising those who use them, which shows it’s not all about the brand 🙂

 

Support the cause

Dave has this to say about the support he and MadLug received: “We’ve come a long way in a short time and we have been particularly encouraged by how many people have already shared our vision for MadLug and giving children in care the dignity of moving their belongings in a proper bag. The level of support has been fantastic – I’ve been working closely with health trusts and charities from across Ireland and UK. Some of the most moving messages of support have come from people who have grown up in care and have experienced putting all they own in bin bags.”

You can read the full story about MadLug here.

You can help

If you too believe this initiative deserve your support, visit their site and purchase one of their fantastic products. Or if you are not in the market for a new bag but still want to be part of the movement, you can always make a donation.

Thanks to your purchase, a bag will be given to a child or young person who otherwise will have not choice but use whatever bag she can find around. Moving children in bin bags was a thing of the past, and your contribution could make sure it stays that way.

So… Happy shopping, and happy giving!

PLEASE NOTE: Full Time Tired is not affiliated with MadLug, or with any of its partners. We just believe their work is important and we are proud to support their cause on our website.
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One Comment

  1. Nicole 8th April 2017 Reply

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