Imagine carrying everything you own in a garbage bag as you moved from one house to another.

It's a heartbreaking thought, and an all-too-familiar reality for hundreds of children in our region.

"We have a tradition in our family to do something on your birthday you've never done before," said Sharon Newhardt.

And just like that Sharon Newhardt found herself wanting to give back and help at-risk children living at Roy Maas Youth Alternatives facilities.

"When Sharon asked what she could do, I said suitcases," said Renee Garvens, the senior director of community and donor relations at Roy Maas Youth Alternatives.

"I don't know, some of these kids maybe never had anything nice to put their things in before," Newhardt said.

Since her birthday is on the 24th, 24 is the suitcase goal.

"So many of these kids are in such crisis. I can't even imagine going through some of the things they go through," said Newhardt.

Twenty-four sounds like a lot, but it's just the tip of the iceberg.

More than 130 kids stay at the facilities every single night.

"The symbolism of having everything you own in a garbage bag, when you already feel a little bit like garbage, it's pretty devastating for them. Sometimes kids will be getting on a plane to go to another state for a living situation and to have a really nice suitcase is just such a sense of pride," Garvens said.

If you look closely at some of the suitcases, you'll notice that some of them are brand new. And that's because friends and family from across the miles have shipped them to the Alamo City, making it an easy way to donate.

Some planned ahead and ordered them off Amazon, while others, like Jason Leard, made the discovery in their own closets.

"When I held the door open for you all I saw you all with all the suitcases. When I heard that she was saying that she didn't want them to come in with trash bags and it would give them some dignity. I feel like that's really good and to do that for somebody felt really helpful. As I was listening to the interview, I thought I have two of them at home, I can donate one," Leard said.

It's a labor of love to collect enough, but any start is a good one.

For more information or if you would like to donate, click here