Chelsea Howlett, Noyes Home executive director, discuses how the donated totes for children living at the facility give them a bit of dignity instead of storing their belongings in plastic trash bags.

As part of its 125th anniversary block party celebration, the Noyes Home will give away totes to its young charges to keep their belongings in when they leave instead of plastic trash bags.

The totes donation to the Noyes Home and the YWCA was a Leadership St. Joseph idea that was brought to fruition by the Junior League and the Optimist Club.

The combined group collected $4,000 through social media fundraising efforts and was able to purchase more than 650 totes.

“Our local children don’t need to leave with a trash bag, there’s no dignity in leaving with a trash bag. These children are already in a crisis situation,” said Terra James, Optimist Club and Junior League contributor.

James said the goal is to make this a yearly giveaway.

“We hope this explodes. That’s our goal,” she said.

Cherlsea Howlett, Noyes Home executive director, said the tote donation is a huge blessing for the organization and its children.

“When kids come to us, often times their belongings are packed up in trash bags. Sometimes they don’t have very many belongings at all,” Howlett said. “Depending on how long they stay here, they accumulate additional clothing and toys.”

The Noyes Home has an average daily census of 35 kids from newborns to 18 years of age, added Howlett.

The Noyes Home also is in need of baby formula. To donate to the Noyes Home, call 816-232-5650.

Alonzo Weston can be reached

at alonzo.weston@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPWeston.