About Case for Kids
Case For Kids is a nonprofit organization that will donate a personalized case to children in foster care into homes. Custom cases with each child’s first name will be packed with new clothes, homemade blanket, sheet set, toiletry items, stuffed animal, and an age appropriate Christian book for each child. We have formed partnerships with social workers in San Joaquin County, Foster Family agencies, schools, private citizens, and other local nonprofit organizations that help children. Through a personalized touch the community can improve a child’s self-esteem by replacing garbage bags as a form of luggage for foster children.
According to www.kidsdata.org, in the year 2014, there were over 1500 children in foster care in San Joaquin County. Children are often moved around the county with no permanency in any one city. The children are of all ages from newborn to 18 years of age. It is not uncommon for a foster child to be placed in a home with little or no belongings. In most cases, children will arrive with a black plastic bag as their main source of luggage.
Case For Kids is a program that is in direct response to the needs of foster children being placed in homes throughout our city. Oftentimes children are haphazardly placed because so few homes exist and more often than not the child is replacing another child, often feeling thrown into the system. The goal of Case For Kids is to help each children transition with a sense of warmth and with their own possessions in hand. The focus is slightly different for each child depending on age and gender but the goal remains the same; replace garbage bags with customized bins filled with new belongings for each child placed in a foster care home.
Case For Kids will focus primarily on children placed in Tracy (and Mountain House) by the Human Services Agency. This is the government program that places foster care children throughout San Joaquin County. There are several private care agencies in Tracy, but our focus will remain on the government program until Case For Kids has been able to establish itself as a reputable resource for foster care families.
Lori Souza, the founder of Case For Kids, wanted to find a way to create a ministry for foster children that would be non-intrusive. After approximately 5 months of careful consideration and prayer, the name Case For Kids came about with a dual purpose in mind. That being said, Case For Kids was born. The name is obvious in the fact that we provide an actual case for children, but just like Jesus Christ, we are providing so much more.
Jesus hung out with the poor, the outcast, and the lonely. Sinners, prostitutes, cheats, and thieves. In foster care, many children feel as if this is their life BUT they don’t know Jesus. Many of them have anger and don’t understand why a good God would let so many bad things happen. With that being said, many children in foster care will not turn to God to be saved. It’s understandable, who could blame them? But as Christians, we felt compelled to bring the word of God to children in both our works and our faith.
When Case For Kids was created, Lori Souza was reading a book by a Christian author, Lee Strobel. The book was The Case For Christ. In trying the case for Christ, Strobel cross-examined a number of experts and recognized authorities in their own fields of study. He conducted his examination with no religious bias, other than his predisposition to atheism. Remarkably, after compiling and critically examining the evidence for himself, Strobel became a Christian. Stunned by his findings, he organized the evidence into a book he entitled, The Case for Christ. After penning his book, Strobel asks one thing of each reader – remain unbiased in your examination of the evidence. In the end, judge the evidence for yourself, acting as the lone juror in the case for Christ.
Case For Kids is based on the same concept. Children in foster care struggle with Christianity because they ask “Why would a good God let so many bad things happen, why do parents abuse children, why are children forced to move in with strangers? Where is the evidence of this good God, Jesus Christ?”
Showing children in foster care that Christ, love, humanity, and forgiveness all exist is our way of ministering to children. We provide the book “The Case For Faith For Kids” because like Strobel, we want to show that in the midst of so much chaos, Jesus is there. In his book for children, the first question of the first chapter is “Why would a good God let bad things happen?” A child may not be ready to read a bible, but if a book about giving real answers about Jesus comes along with their case, then the Olive branch has been extended. Many of these children will pick up their book in spare time and some may find themselves reading it. Some children may throw their book away. We never know but this is the first step that so many children never get to make on their own.
In the end, the dual symbolism represents the actual case and that we are trying to do the same thing for foster children as Lee Strobel did through his work. Christ, love, faith, and humanity do exist. A perfect stranger can come alongside you, bring you necessities and other new things, and not expect anything. A loving, caring Christian does care. It’s not just about telling you about the bible. It’s about showing children how God can work through people.
“Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” Isaiah 1:17