An 8 year-old Baton Rouge resident bringing families together through collecting change

An 8 year-old Baton Rouge resident bringing families together through collecting change
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 3:59pm

Joey Roth is pretty much a typical eight year-old, he loves to play with friends and wants to be a chef when he grows up.
What sets him apart .... He decided to turn his hobby of collection loose change, into a fund raising effort. And the reason was a simple one: It just felt right.

"I used to collect change, I used to find it everywhere. I would look in the streets, I would look in stores, and I would find either a penny a dime or a nickel, and I wanted to do something with it, so I decided to help the sick babies at Woman's," said Roth.

Joey's loose change started adding up; but, he wanted to do more, so he started a "jar for change" project where he set up jars, to collect loose change - throughout Baton Rouge and now - with the community's help, joey's raised five thousand dollars and it's all going to the newborn-infant intensive care unit at woman's hospital.

"It makes me feel like I am doing something very important about other people and I'm not just helping me," Roth said.

Woman's hospital will take the cash to buy "ipads" for the NICU so they can set up "joey time" where mothers can see their newborns through video if they can't be in the same room with them.

"We are actually going to be able to connect a mom from her room to a baby in the intensive care nursery by having a tech go to the moms room, bring an iPad and connect up with the nurse who is in the babies room and have them be able to have a live feed video where they can actually see their baby," said Laurel Kitto, director of the Intensive care nursery at the Woman's hospital.

Kitto knows just how much this will be appreciated by the patients and their families.

"Joey really doesn't have an understanding of the happiness that he is going to bring to moms who cannot come into the intensive care to see their babies because they are too sick," she said.

And while there's tremendous joy at woman's hospital, no one's more proud than joey's parents.

"I don't see how anyone couldn't watch children, doing something to help others. How could you not feel wonderful about that," said Michael Roth, Joey's father.

"I thought it was a fad. I thought it would last about a week or two. And the fact that it's still going a year in is pretty remarkable," added Debra Roth, Joey's Mother.

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