Don Pratt's Luggage Delivery to KY's Foster/Adoptive Kids

Don Pratt's Luggage Delivery to KY's Foster/Adoptive Kids For 20 years, I've collected/distributed donated, good condition, used luggage to KY foster/adoptive kids so they don't have to move in garbage bags.

A win-win project -people age out of travel, get new luggage or with airline change. I collect and distribute donated luggage, backpacks, carry bags and duffle bags, primarily to foster/adoptive kids across Kentucky. I have been doing this for over 20 years now.
118 or 120 counties in Kentucky and many 5 to 10 carloads for their kids - and to one county over 30 times. If they get luggage they don't have to move in garbage bags.

01/09/2024

Just finished an GREAT fun interview from 2 to 4 pm on the University of KY's WRFL FM. WRFL- FM did a 2-4 interview about my campaign for 6th District US Congressional seat

01/09/2024

My first movie experience was with my big brother and big sister sitting on each side of me at Lexington, KY's famous Kentucky Theatre.
We were seeing a Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (his wife) cowboy film.
A bad guy hid behind the door as Roy approached a cabin door where bad guys held Dale hostage.
I yelled out, "LOOK OUT ROY!"
This was my first memory of film which grew serious when the Kentucky, and adjoining State Theatre, had multiple art and foreign films each week.
There were various times to see each and all the films during the week so this was my social time... alone of with my daughter from my divorce.
Years later I was told to see the famous French film, La Cage aux Folles. (I highly recommend!) I mean the French version though the not so good American version, Bird Cage, was later produced.
I went one night when I had my young daughter, Carrie.
Ironically, Carrie must have had my genes. Carrie did a funnier yelling.
With a huge 150 viewers plus, almost all gay, we sat down front since I love the surround sound and Imax effect.
When the movie started, three couples did the can-can on a small stage in a bar with men in the film's audience cat calling and whistling to for the performers.
After the dance, the three couples bowed with the females taking off their wigs.
My daughter, Carrie Pratt, yells very loudly, "DADDY! DADDY! THEY'RE BOYS!"
All I tried to do came out in quiet words, "Ssssh Ssssh Carrie"
But she continued with the Kentucky's entire audience going silent to hear Carrie.
"DADDY! DADDY! They are dressed like girls!"
"Ssssh Ssssh Carrie" was all I could do.
However, she wasn't through.
"WHAT DO THEY DO FOR 'TIDDILLIES'?"
The theatre's audience roared at Carrie.
Thankfully, it was dark covering my embarassment while laughing, too.

01/09/2024

I'm a guest today from 2 until 4 on WRFL Fm at the University of Kentucky
Not sure of the format but I know you can listen.

01/04/2024

When arriving at the capitol building, two state troopers, a woman and a very friendly man who is security at the Kentucky capitol's disabled entry were standing chatting after the bomb threat.
I knew nothing about it.
My security guard friend asked if I had called in the bomb threat? I said no but I had called in a bomb threat once.
All their eyes opened wide.
I explained.
I was locked up in county jail so i called in a bomb threat but they still didn't open my jail cell.

12/29/2023

Thanks to WLEX TV for a GREAT television interview.
I hope to see your report.
Compliments to your reporter!

12/29/2023

Thanks Bob, Linda and Jenny for coming and supporting me today announcing my campaign for US Congress

12/29/2023

PEOPLE I admire and have admired for their work and minds

Eleanor Roosevelt
Ruth Bader Ginsberg
Katharine Hepburn
Gloria Steinem
Dolly Parton
Princess Diana
Tina Turner
Michelle Obama

My mom

F D Roosevelt
J William Fulbright
John Sherman Copper
Bert Combs
Albert Einstein
Bertram Russell
Ned Breathitt
Wendell Berry
Jimmy Carter

My dad

12/29/2023

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

Failure is not just acceptable, it’s often essential.

Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.

A good apology is like an antibiotic; a bad apology is like rubbing salt on a wound.”

12/28/2023

Announcing Friday, 10:30 AM in LFUCG government center lobby
I would like for all and everyone I know to attend.

I apologize for the length of my comments but I hope all will understand!

I, Don Pratt, am happy to announce my candidacy for the United States House of Representatives, 6th District congressional seat.
I will be filing for the Democratic primary then plan to win thus later defeating the Republican candidate in November 2024.

I find the Republican domination of the House and control of this Bluegrass seat sadly, disgustingly and poorly represented by the cowardly, current office holder.

For too long Andy has represented the Republican Party... just his party and NOT the people of this district, our state and certainly not the nation well.
For too long Andy has remained silent about the leadership of his party and the role of his past president, Donald Trump. Where was Andy in criticizing and damning the take over with much destruction of the United States capitol building? Where is his courage and decency?

I began in my lifetime, long before Andy, to make others aware of wrongdoing.
In my early years, I began my political acts by writing a letter to the editor when a young, small, African American little friend of mine on my paper route was locked in an abandoned refrigerator playing hide and seek. A needed law was passed locally.

When becoming a single dad for 65 foster girls and boys then seeing the foster kids come in garbage bags, I began by collecting luggage, backpack, duffle bags and carry bags - mostly all used - then distributing them across Kentucky. More than 20 plus years now, I have distributed 10s of 1,000s of items across Kentucky often to tornado or flood victims.
I still do.
Courage is one thing I have - and have openly - shown openly in my many years of serving others and challenging bad laws.
I was educated about inequality, civil liberties and civil rights as a disciple of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. even organizing and researching the policy of discrimination by the University of Kentucky's basketball coach and UK's athletic department's hierarchy.
This was followed by my courage of resisting military service beginning with the organizing protests at the University of KY after realizing our Vietnam War was wrong.
I actually was honorably discharged from the United States Army ROTC 2nd Lieut. commission for protesting that military mistake publicly.

Despite not being eligible for military service, I thought it would be hypocritical of me if I asked another man to resist if I didn't even suffer the highest possible consequences that they might be sentenced.

I resisted, NOT dodged the draft.

I was sentenced to 5 years and a $10,000 fine, serving nearly two years. Twelve days short of serving the sentence for refusing the Vietnam war and discriminatory draft, my dad was killed in a petty robbery. I came home with a sad heart and many tears determined to do more for mankind - including parenting.

This nation has to admit the wrong for the damage it did to American veterans yet, more importantly, we have to admit and condemn what our national leadership did to the land and to the people of Vietnam.
After prison and back home here, I fathered one biological daughter. I believe I became the first joint custody divorce in Fayette County, if not the state.
Later with my divorce, I began single parenting 65 abused foster girls and boys realizing more has to be done by our government to prevent children raising children, child and spouse abuse and to play a serious role in education regarding parenting.
I also became a successful, corner grocery owner-operator of Woodland Grocery before retiring yet still parenting some of the most damaged kids I had in over 40 years of parenting. Note: parenting is the most unrecognized, difficult role in our nation.
I seriously believe, too, that the choice of giving birth is the woman's - with the advice and help of their doctors plus hopefully the understanding of men.

Dad's murder in a petty robbery added to my belief that this nation needs gun control and regulations like our automobile driving and licensing. Why not insurance?
With a careless driver hitting me on my motorcycle, I added to my belief that we need Medicare for All and to control profiteering of the medical industry, including pharmaceutical pricing. I adamantly support legalizing ma*****na, but also awareness of health damages like to***co does! Taxes on the product for such.

We definitely need tax reformation!
We definitely need gun control!
We definitely need election reform!
We definitely need to recognize the damages we've done worldwide with issues of our nation's drug addictions causing lots of immigrant or poverty issues in Central and South America.
We definitely need infrastructure improvements that promote stopping fossil fuel burning including fracking and provide high speed rail and far greater freight shipment by rail. We must help those that will suffer the change. This is especially true of the trucking business as well as how most of us have invested in vehicles for our ease of movement.
We definitely need freedom of choice by women.
We definitely need, at this point in our city, state, and nation's history, a REAL AND MAJOR concern is the earth and its resources. Global warming is real.
We can not continue fossil fuel toxic usage and consumption economics as an example for the other people of the world to follow.
The earth can not survive for our children and grandchildren.

This will be a grassroots campaign launched now to increase participation and to start the coming new year with hopes for peace, justice and a better world!
I, Don Pratt, am happy to announce my candidacy for the United States House of Representatives, 6th District congressional seat.

12/28/2023

Announcing Friday, 10:30 AM in LFUCG government center lobby
I would like for all and everyone I know to attend.
I apologize for the length of my comments but I hope all will understand!

I, Don Pratt, am happy to announce my candidacy for the United States House of Representatives, 6th District congressional seat.
I will be filing for the Democratic primary then plan to win thus later defeating the Republican candidate in November 2024.

I find the Republican domination of the House and control of this Bluegrass seat sadly, disgustingly and poorly represented by the cowardly, current office holder.

For too long our delegate, Pandy Andy, has represented the Republican Party... just his party and NOT the people of this district, our state and certainly not the nation well.

For too long Andy has remained silent about the leadership of his party and the role of his past president, Donald Trump.

Where was Andy in criticizing and damning the take over with much destruction of the United States capitol building? Where is his courage and decency?

I began in my lifetime, long before Andy, to make others aware of wrongdoing.

In my early years, I began my political acts by writing a letter to the editor when a young, small, African American little friend of mine on my paper route was locked in an abandoned refrigerator playing hide and seek. A needed law was passed locally.

When becoming a single dad for 65 foster girls and boys then seeing the foster kids come in garbage bags, I began by collecting luggage, backpack, duffle bags and carry bags - mostly all used - then distributing them across Kentucky. More than 20 plus years now, I have distributed 10s of 1,000s of items across Kentucky often to tornado or flood victims.I still do.

Courage is one thing I have - and have openly - shown openly in my many years of serving others and challenging bad laws.

I was educated about inequality, civil liberties and civil rights as a disciple of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. even organizing and researching the policy of discrimination by the University of Kentucky's basketball coach and UK's athletic department's hierarchy.

This was followed by my courage of resisting military service beginning with the organizing protests at the University of KY after realizing our Vietnam War was wrong.
I actually was honorably discharged from the United States Army ROTC 2nd Lieut. commission for protesting that military mistake publicly.
Despite not being eligible for military service, I thought it would be hypocritical of me if I asked another man to resist if I didn't suffer, too, the highest possible consequences that the government might be sentence me.
I resisted, NOT dodged the draft.

I was sentenced to 5 years and a $10,000 fine, serving nearly two years. Twelve days short of serving the sentence for refusing the Vietnam war and discriminatory draft, my dad was killed in a petty robbery. I came home with a sad heart and many tears determined to do more for mankind - including parenting.

Note too: This nation has to admit the wrong for the damage it did to American veterans yet, more importantly, we have to admit and condemn what our national leadership did to the land and to the people of Vietnam.

After prison and back home here, I fathered one biological daughter. I believe I became the first joint custody divorce in Fayette County, if not the state.

Later with my divorce, I began single parenting 65 abused foster girls and boys realizing more has to be done by our government to prevent children raising children, child and spouse abuse and to play a serious role in education regarding parenting.

I also became a successful, corner grocery owner-operator of Woodland Grocery before retiring yet still parenting some of the most damaged kids I had in over 40 years of parenting.
A special note: parenting is the most unrecognized, difficult role in our nation.

I seriously believe, too, that the choice of giving birth is the woman's - with the advice and help of their doctors plus hopefully the understanding of men.

Dad's murder in a petty robbery added to my belief that this nation needs gun control and regulations like our automobile driving and licensing. Why not insurance?

With a careless, uninsured driver hitting me on my motorcycle, I added to my belief that we need Medicare for All and to control profiteering of the medical industry, including pharmaceutical pricing.

I adamently support legalizing ma*****na, but also awareness of health damages like to***co does! Tax the product for such.

We definitely need tax reformation!
We definitely need gun control!
We definitely need to recognize the damages we've done worldwide with issues of our nation's drug addictions causing lots of immigrant or povertyh issues in Central and South America.
We definitely need infrastructure improvements that promote stopping fossile fuel burning including fracking and provide high speed rail and far greater freight shipment by rail. We much help those that will suffer the change. This is especially true of the trucking business as well as how most of us have invested in vehicles for our ease of movement.
We definitely need freedom of choice for women.
We definitely need, at this point in our city, state, and nation's history, a REAL AND MAJOR concern is the earth and its resources. Global warming is real. We can not continue fossil fuel toxic usage and consumption economics as an example for the other people of the world to follow.
The earth can not survive the ongoring destruction. This is for our children and grandchildren.

Mine will be a grassroots campaign it's being launched now to increase participation and to start the coming new year with hopes for peace, justice and a better world!

I, Don Pratt, am happy to announce my candidacy for the United States House of Representatives, 6th District congressional seat.

12/24/2023

On another note, with my refusing the war in Vietnam and discriminatory draft system I met interesting people with lots of interesting experiences.
A fellow I thought about recently is a guy I'd like to meet again and to know what nationally known musical group he came from.

In Milan Federal Correctional Institution I met lots of different guys with wisdom and talent.
On weekends, we enjoyed movies and talent shows of inmates. There were also talents from outside the institution that came in, almost all were religious groups so I never attended.
When the outside groups had young women, the attendance was generally higher but I never went to count numbers.
There was one performance of two inmates I will never forget.
An African American pianist and singer shared his version of "Fire and Rain" that I had only heard James Taylor perform.
This inmate's talent was amazing! With the strength and meaning of the story told in the song, I was shocked to see the large number of young men crying.
I will always cry thinking of the loss of this loved one in the song!
The other fellow, a major guitar talent in a national musical group, I think played and sang with him but memory fails me a bit now.

But this other fellow was the subject of another memory!
A major talent, he came to me seeking advice. I was shocked.
Not shocked to be asked for advice but his subject.
He wanted me to go over his plans to escape Milan Federal Institute. Almost a laugh but he was serious.
I don't remember his name... but the guy had a ridiculous map drawn that he was enthusiastic about.
Let's say "Jim" was in the institution on a sentence called Zip Six.
Jim could have done 6 months to 6 years with his already having done six months, mostly in county jail.
County jail was where he dried out cold turkey on some hard drug.
His sentence wasn't for drugs that he was on but for his threats on the phone to an airport... called Sky Jacking at the time.
Under the influence, Bill had called the airport and told them there was a bomb on such and such flight, adding to tell them if his girlfriend with their child wanted to come back to him that he was staying in room number ??? and she could come back to him.
Well, this was a man asking for my advice. I think he needed better advice or help than I could give him.

I did convince him not to escape with some logic of the stupidity of his plan. But better yet, I told him he would likely be released soon.
He accepted my advice and sure enough Bill(?) was released shortly after that experience!

12/24/2023

I love my neighbors but not the acts some of them do.

12/24/2023

Years ago, I took in one of the most damaged foster kids that I ever had.
At 5, my meeting him in a psychiatric hospital for issues caused by bad parenting was a first for me.
Even the negative judgement by their psychiatrist was a shock to me. She called him "borderline re****ed."
Not only was the judgement very wrong but the attitude and terminology was atrocious!
He did surprise me in many ways over the next 12 years of his living with me until the need for 24/7 observation and discipline became impossible.
Actually, on his first day of school he seems to have terrorized the whole elementary school by screaming and kicking even his biological grandmother who was a cook in the school's kitchen.
His second day was a day with an amazing African American woman coming out of retirement to begin the process of turning this kid into "tops in his class" within the first year.
An "Arch" meeting with 10 to 15 people, including me and his long time, wonderfully committed social worker continued the meeting after he evacuated the school building by pulling the fire alarm.
He still surprises me when I visit him in prison and thankfully he still calls me "Dad."
The story I want to share has a tie to the holiday so celebrated December 25th.
I don't celebrate Xmas nor did I have the tree at home traditionally sitting in my living room.
I didn't want to disappoint the imagination of this boy whose life had many disappointments already with a broken leg by some family member about his second month on earth.
His Xmas presents were purchased and some given by others so I set up a big surprise for him.
I got my adopted son, Thomas, to take his gifts to place in front of the huge Xmas tree the city traditionally decorated at Triangle Square in downtown Lexington, KY.
Thomas did and when I took the boy to show him that Santa had brought his Xmas there, he lit up with pleasure I'd never seen in a child.
We should all know such pleasure in our lives and make more days so enlightening and pleasant!

12/21/2023

Writing more of my autobiography Today.

Thankfully, I was asked to write up my friend, Juan Hernandez. I have been visiting Juan regularly since the University of Kentucky medical community found cancer throughout his body.
He was transferred to Leestown Veterans Hospice Unit where I tried to visit daily.
Actually, the night before his early passing the next morning, I stopped by to say hello.
His handshake grip was still remarkably strong and he gave me a calendar of the western United States except for a couple photos in Michigan.

Juan first became a friend with a campaign to keep the Lexington/Fayette County Senior Citizens Center out of Woodland Park.
As president of one of the neighborhood associations near the park, I hosted a meeting with the mayor and one person who supported the idea.
Woodland Park has become the one downtown park that draws more visitors per square inch and has way too many spaces occupied by structures including one garden.
The softball field, swimming pool, skateboard park, tennis courts, children's playground, parking lot, picnic tables, plus the covering of the entire park during the nationally recognized Woodland Arts and Crafts Fair bring good usage of every inch... in warm weather it's generally overcrowded. Other locations could and should have been selected as alternative locations!
I then wanted a Senior Center built on property nearby. But looking now at our very nice large center, no way was this right to build there! Note: nearly all the senior's activities are indoors with only a few playing pickleball outdoors now and the parking lot is HUGE - not feasible to build such in Woodland Park.
At the meeting, Juan embarrassingly blew up about TOO MUCH already there then stormed out of the meeting.
His dad (Dr. Hernandez, a UK professor. I will write more later.), who became a good friend too, apologized for him, but Juan was right.
I joined the cause, actually winning the cause. However, someone approved a Realtor Park which was ugly as hell and a location where some folks slept, hiding below sight unless you walked into the area.
Thankfully our efforts won with a groundswell of support including a Lexington Garden Club and talk show appearances.

His dad and Juan lived in a large 3 story house with a basement across from one side of the park. They both grew flowers and vegetables, providing these plant production to schools, hospitals and friends.
The massive number of friends visiting him at Hospice proved his generosity.
However, at one point, one or both of them welcomed a truly mentally ill woman into their house when a boyfriend set her house on fire.
As her mental illness worsened particularly after Dr. Hernandez died, the house added items plus dirt inside and out. Reggie actually added to the savings of so much - more like hoarding - as she'd walk the streets of town picking up items she'd find. Probably somewhere that was not to be taken since they were very nice or usable.
But... the house and yard ended up with all these dumped rather than organized, including an area where she picked up men who provided her beer for her services.
At least once, Reggie shared her birthday suit walking n**e through town when off her medication.
Juan had to bail her out and explain the issues to the court.
Juan had hoped she would clean some of the mess but sleep, drinking beer and entertaining men was her priority.
Juan's life of history I barely knew including Vietnam War experience, I think, later including a bar and grill ownership in a Caribbean island. There may have been a love of his life there that he mentioned a mistake not to marry, but he had other lady friends before and after.
His life also was his gardening, carpentry handyman skills which he used on a number of his owned apartment buildings with his partner before his partner caused his personal bankruptcy.
Then he did independent contracting with a few friends in addition to becoming a regular at my Woodland Grocery - plus being a member of the Woodland Grocery Club.
Juan even made sandwiches there when I was busy otherwise.

After closing my store, Juan would often go with me to pick up and deliver luggage for foster/adoptive kids.
Not always a pleasant experience, Juan would blow up when discussing issues.
Though we agreed on the subject, his emotional outbursts were simply wrong and loud, probably due to an inherited bi-polar condition that he said was hereditary.
The same outbursts were there on his dying bed at the VA Hospice.
But he will be known and remembered as a good man and friend.

03/10/2023
03/10/2023
12/19/2021

This is my Saturday story and I'm sticking with it.
Maybe it will make a part in a book?
I had great intentions for being at home today, vegetating.
I didn't neglect White Castle breakfast with the Saturday morning old men's group.
Sadly, it's down to 4 of us, from 10 to 15 previously, with deaths and COVID.
We spent almost 2 hours together.
One man, Bob Niles, was the nephew of the American songwriter, John Jacob Niles. He was a brilliant construction engineer and tells stories in addition to bringing 4 to 5 pages of questions to check all of our memories.
As I was driving, a phone call from Dave Perry, a retired Lexington Herald newspaper photographer, meant a scheduled lunch date at our special sharing lunch selection, cheaper way of eating.
First, I stopped in an assisted living facility to see Nancy Ray, former Dean of Women at UK.
She was asleep and awoke to say, "I am not feeling well but will get better."
Then I stopped to see 3 female staff from Croatia on the medical floor in the same highrise. They are truly such happy and dedicated folks at their work!
Next door was a nursing home where another friend resides so I stopped there too.
Finding my friend in his room, I rolled him to the dining hall and to a table with two elderly ladies. Another rolled up. She wanted to talk, too.
Turns out, she was the sister of my best friend in high school, Tom Wilson.
She shared that her husband worked at the Lexington Herald just like my brother as well as today's lunch friend.
She also asked me to get her brother and his family to visit. Don't know that they don't as often nursing home residents forget.
Back home, I was to get a 1 and 45 minute phone call from my best friend after high school, Paul Lansdale.
He had lived in Lexington for a short while after college.
Now, he has been in Cold Spring, New York for a long time with his wife, Linda Mueller, and daughter.
Thankfully, Paul has been a great host, so I've visited them there a lot.
Another call with the security staff member at Eastland Shopping Center, meant an 1 1/2 hour call.
Hanging up to relax, I got a call from Michael Cortney to give a ride for a lady friend visiting him, so I did.
Driving by the Kentucky Theater, I noted it was open thus I returned to find out they are showing Xmas movies for the holidays.
Again, I am home now trying to vegetate.

I will get back to delivering to foster kids soon when the tornado victims stop asking for luggage, etc.

08/18/2021

Yesterday in a gas mart, wearing a mask and staying away from others, NO ONE had masks on except two staff behind plexiglass and those two didn't cover their noses.
When delivering luggage to foster kids today to Somerset's SAFY, no one including staff in a crowded Gold Star chili, had masks on except me.
Definite proof that MANY in KY, and other places, are descendants of neanderthals - but maybe I shouldn't reflect badly on neanderthals.
My tenant, and friend, delivers to Somerset's OVERCROWDED hospital - that does require masks.
My praises to the Somerset hospital staff!
Today the skies were beautiful as is in one photo!
The large stack, and last ones in my garage, is tomorrow's delivery to Bronson's boys facility of foster kids.
Hopefully, if my NY friends are well, I will take a vacation to visit.

Delivery of a carload to Louisville's Home of the Innocents.
08/18/2021

Delivery of a carload to Louisville's Home of the Innocents.

Delivery to Morehead, KY
07/18/2021

Delivery to Morehead, KY

Friday - 5/28/21, I picked up this huge load at Southland Christian's Helping Him donation program.I was asked to pick u...
05/30/2021

Friday - 5/28/21, I picked up this huge load at Southland Christian's Helping Him donation program.
I was asked to pick up another next Tuesday so I went to the Lexington's Women's homeless or treatment facility(?) on Versailles Rd.
They were not accepting donations due to COVID so I went to Lexington's mens shelter and treatment facilities on Loudon.
They accepted this amount.
I will pick up more on Tuesday.

Florence, KY 5/21/21
05/22/2021

Florence, KY 5/21/21

Luggage delivery to women's shelter -  location that I delivered, Lancaster, KY area.
05/22/2021

Luggage delivery to women's shelter - location that I delivered, Lancaster, KY area.

Address

912 Royal Avenue
Lexington, KY
40505

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