Eleven-year-old collecting bags for Kentucky foster kids

Noah Jones’ goal for the month of October 2010 is to collect no less than 500 bags. At the bag raising event held at Covington Woods Park in Bowling Green, Ky on October 10th, 2010 they collected nearly 100 bags for A Case For Dignity that day.

Nash Gumm

Noah Jones may only be 11, but the Bowling Green native is the founding coordinator of “A Case For Dignity,” an organization collecting suitcases and backpacks to make care packages for foster children in Kentucky.

The packages replace the trash bags some foster children transport their belongings in now, he said.

Jones said he thought of the idea after he was given a class assignment to better his community.

He said his inspiration to complete the assignment came from a course in foster care that his parents attended in June.

Jones’ parents have two foster children living with them.

“A Case for Dignity” has had three major bag drives and has collected about 300 bags since July, Jones said.

He said about 7,000 children each year enter foster care.

“I don’t want children to ever have to use trash bags again,” he said.

Jones said the organization hopes to raise 500 suitcases this month.

Items that go in one of the medium-sized duffle bags include: a hair brush, a tooth brush, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, journals and puzzle books for older children, coloring books for younger children, a blanket and a Bible.

He said the churches have donated 300 Bibles for the bags.

“We have a lot of faith about what we do” he said.

After bags are collected and stuffed, they go to the permanency and protective office at the Department of Children Based Services, he said.

Jones said he recruited his friends and sisters to stuff the bags.

Caseworkers will give the bags to children immediately after they’re removed from their home.

Response about the bags has been positive, he said.

Fonda Walker, a caseworker at DCBS, said she appreciated “A Case for Dignity” gathering bags, and kids receiving the bags were pleased to have them.

Sara Jones, Noah’s mother, said “A Case for Dignity” relies on volunteers.

“We still need more bags to reach every kid in the state,” she said.

She said she’d like the students of WKU to get involved in the organization, and it could be a service project for campus organizations.

“If an 11-year-old kid can take an idea and run with it, anyone of us can certainly make a difference for those who need it,” she said. “These foster kids deserve hope in a trying time and young people can deliver that hope.”

The next collection is today from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Chick-fil-a on Campbell Lane.

For more information visit www.acasefordignity.com.