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I was sitting at my desk one afternoon when I got a lovely call from Alice, who was from the National Board of Trial Advocacy. She told me that they were having their annual board meeting that October, and they were looking for a service project to do together. She was reaching out to board-certified attorneys, certified through the NBTA, in the area to see if they had any recommendations for local non-profit groups. 

Frank Kearney and Keith Donahoe are both proudly Board Certified through the NBTA.


I was thrilled that she called, because here at Donahoe Kearney we have several groups with whom we are connected. You may remember our profiles on the DC Dream Center, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, and the Father McKenna House.

The organization that was the best fit (and my former employer) was the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), which does incredible work here in the United States and abroad with regard to domestic and foreign policy, advocating for children in foster care and for families who want to adopt. While CCAI didn’t have any need for service at the moment (if we would have hit in November it would have been high time for their Angels in Adoption Program) they connected us with another incredible organization, Comfort Cases.



I didn’t know anything about Comfort Cases going in, but from my work with youth in foster care through CCAI I had an idea of what they did.


Still, I was blown away when I arrived.


It was such a simple concept. The Executive Director, Rob Scheer, shared his story ( of experience in foster care and the simple yet incredibly deeply etched indignity of being shuffled around with nothing to carry except a trash bag. Everyone who listened raptly to his story was horrified – many people don’t know the quiet shame of being in foster care and being treated like a leftover and an inconvenience.

So, Rob Scheer did something about it. He founded Comfort Cases, a non-profit organization located in Rockville with a very simple mission – No More Trash Bags for children in foster care.


We each had a kit to put together for these kids. It contained a beautiful, high-quality backpack, brand-new pajamas, a blanket, an assembly of toiletries, books, a journal, and a card that said:


“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you feel.”


These backpacks will go directly to a child who will not have to use a trash bag to carry their belongings. And you can be a part of this for as little as $10.00 a month.

To get involved, please contact Comfort Cases, or go directly to their website to donate. 
You, too can be involved in making sure that children in foster care no longer suffer the indignity of trash bags.
Brooke M. Birkey, Director of Client Services
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