Coventry High School senior, Alex St. Pierre, who is part of the Health Occupations program at the Regional Career and Technical Center has recently started an organization to help outfit Rhode Island children in DCYF custody with backpacks filled with personal care items to take with them to their new homes.
Alex, 16, with the help of his mother, came up with the idea for "Bags of Dignity" for his Capstone Project after seeing his family's four foster children enter their home with very few belongings - most of which were transported in black trash bags.
"Children show up on a strangers' doorstep with black trash bags to hold their belongings," he said. "How much dignity could they possibly feel while holding everything they own in a black trash bag?"
The purpose of this organization is to prevent this type of situation from happening by not only supplying the children with items necessary for day-to-day life, but also giving them a dependable way of transporting their belongings with them.
Alex is collecting bags with personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hairbrushes, shampoos and other bath products as well as security items like teddy bears, books, blankets and toys.
Donations can currently be dropped off at five locations across the state including Kent Hospital and Seekonk Public Library. (Click here for the full list of drop-off locations.)
Alex and several volunteers have successfully collected 64 bags so far that have been distributed by DCYF. The project has even inspired the start of the Bags of Dignity Arizona Chapter.
"I am so thankful for all of the donors and the support that I have received through this project," said Alex.
For more information about this project, click here to visit the Bags of Dignity Facebook page (http://facebook.com/bagsofdignity) or here for the official website (http://bagsofdignity.webs.com). The organization may also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.