polo jeans ralph lauren Foster Closet Gratiot branch provides clothing for children in need
What started out in a singular closet has now expanded into four classrooms worth of donated clothing, toys, baby equipment and furniture, all donated by members of the local community.
Since opening on Aug. 28, the Foster Closet of Michigan has seen donations of 471 pieces of clothing to the Gratiot County branch alone, including 59 pairs of shoes and 30 homemade pillowcases.
Branch manager Sheila Barnaby volunteers alongside her partner, Buffy Barnaby, her sister in law, Heidi Barnaby, as well as fellow board members Tina Graham and Laura Karr.
created a program called Fostering Joy last year, where the intention was that every child in Gratiot County would get a present for Christmas, Barnaby said. the help of sponsors, we were able to give 86 foster kids presents that Christmas.
Foster Closet of Michigan first began as a support group among foster families in Oakland County, and has since expanded into a network of locations where families and children can find clothing that suits their needs.
Foster Closet Gratiot County branch marks the organization 17th location in Michigan.
As a foster parent herself, Barnaby deeply related to Foster Closet message and mission to help foster children of all ages.
and) I have acted as the foster parents for three little boys, one of which is still with us, and we understand the cost, Barnaby said. licensed from birth to four years old, and you have to have items for every age group, and every kid is a little different. We like to help build the children up, and we can already see that it making a difference.
Items that are currently needed by the organization include, but are not limited to: New or gently used clothing (preemie teenage), gently used shoes, boots, non drop down cribs, toddler beds, any type of stroller, unexpired car and booster seats, all baby items and new socks and underwear.
Foster Closet is also in search of seasonal items, such as coats, snow pants/suits and Halloween costumes, as well as full size hygiene products, luggage and duffel bags. Community members are also welcome to volunteer their time at the location itself.
In addition to local donations, Foster Closet of Michigan also networks through the other branches throughout the state.
In just the six weeks that the Gratiot County branch has been opened, Barnaby has already had several notable instances of meeting local families and kids that have stuck out to her, citing two specific examples.
part of the Foster Closet is that we make homemade pillowcases, where the intention is so that everyone has a place to rest their head, Barnaby said. when we offered the pillowcase to this girl, she told us that, you moved as many times as I have, it hard to get comfortable.
The Gratiot County branch is in the basement of the First Church of God at 520 Olive St. in St. Louis, MI.