It was 9 o’clock at night and there was a loud knock at the door. A lady with a badge and a police officer were there. Before I knew it I was in the back of the police car. Had I done something wrong? Was I in trouble? Where was my mom? Those thoughts all ran through my head and many more. The lady with the badge assured me that I was going somewhere safe.
We pulled up to a house; the porch light was on. We got out of the car and I realized that I was cold. I forgot my coat! How was I going to get it back again? Come to think of it, I didn’t have anything with me – not even a toothbrush. As I began to panic that I didn’t have any of my things, a man and woman answered the door. They looked nervous. I walked in to their house, sat down at their table, and a few short minutes later the lady with the badge was gone. She said she’d see me tomorrow.
I looked across the table at them and they looked at me. I could tell we were both thinking ‘what now?’…
That is the story of way too many kids. And imagine the thoughts of a kiddo even smaller? One not old enough to have any idea what is happening. In fact, take a look at the numbers from August.
Yes, you read that right – in Butler County alone there are more than 400 children in foster care in an average month. MORE THAN 400 CHILDREN. That’s 8 school buses FULL of kids. And it’s not just the kids who need help, it’s their parents too, and the foster families who are taking care of them when their mom or dad cannot.
Enter Hope’s Closet, who loves on these displaced children and their families, provides them with encouragement, support, and material needs, and inspires them with hope in a loving God. Hope’s Closet provides resources, but not just physical ones. In addition to the clothing boutique, they offer support groups and work to recruit other families to become licensed Foster Parents. They help make one of the hardest jobs in the world easier, and they do it with the end goal of reuniting families. They teach foster parents how to engage with biological parents in an effort to develop a partnership that has the child’s best interest in mind.
So how can you get involved? Great question!
Give your time:
This mission needs lots of different types of people to be successful.
- Worker bees, volunteers who can sort, fold, hang, organize, clean, etc.
- Care community members, who are willing to consistently engage with and love on foster families and provide occasional respite care for foster parents.
- More families to open their homes to love on children who need to be encouraged, supported, and valued while they are away from their biological parents. (Check out more resources here).
Give your dollars:
Monetary donations cover basic things like the electric bill, office supplies, and insurance, but they also go to cover the cost of providing clothes and shoes for a specific age or size that may not be in stock. Donations are tax-deductible. Hope’s Closet 501C3 status is pending approval.
Give your goods:
The goal is to provide each child that comes to Hope’s Closet with close to a week worth of clothes, which includes 7 outfits, 3 pair of pajamas, 1 pair of shoes, and new socks and underwear. The clothing boutique is also starting a “Birthday Club” where children can come and choose items as a birthday gift during their Birthday month.
- Clothes – new underwear and socks in all sizes, pajamas especially size 6 – 14, shoes all sizes, most needed children clothing items size 5 – 8, clothing for teens and seasonal items (coats, snow boots, hats, gloves,etc.)
- Supplies – all size batteries, plastic trash bags, Lysol Wipes, all size diapers, Baby wipes, 1”x 4” white labels
- Toys – new toys or gently used toys in good condition
- Birthday Club – gift cards or new toys for various ages valued at $10-$20
But it’s about more than meeting needs. Making sure these kiddos have clothes is just the beginning. The real work is in recruiting more people to love on and invest themselves in these kids who simply didn’t ask to be in the situation they are in. It’s about reuniting broken families and breaking the cycle that broke them in the first place. It’s about shining light in the dark places and giving hope to the hopeless.
So now you know how big the problem is, you see how great the need, and two questions remain…