Since 2012, the volunteers of the Macomb Foster Closet have been providing clothing and other essential items to children in foster care. Imagine a child without a coat, a pair of shoes, or any socks or underwear. Oftentimes a garbage bag or the clothes on their back is all that a child has. This is the unfortunate reality for thousands of abused, neglected, and abandoned children that come into foster care every day.
For almost a decade, the organization has been operating in the Macomb County Family Resource Center on North Rose Street in Mt Clemens. The building is owned by the Mount Clemens Community Schools and is leased by Macomb County. But the Macomb Foster Closet just found out that they cannot stay in their current location and their services may come to an end. They were unexpectedly notified that their lease is not being renewed and they must be out by June 30 (Macomb Daily).
“Shutting down is not an option,” said Kevin McAlpine, volunteer, and president of the Macomb Foster Closet. “We can’t imagine children in our community going without proper clothing because we don’t have a building to operate from. The need isn’t going away and we were determined to figure out a way to resolve this. ”
Fortunately, though, there is a solution to the problem. A building, which is just perfect for them, just become available for purchase. Not far from their current location, it has significantly more space, and volunteers would be able to expand services to help even more children.
“Our community has been so generous over the years,” said McAlpine. “Now we need their financial support more than ever. Every gift, any size, will make a huge difference.” In addition to individuals, civic groups, schools, churches, and businesses can also be a part of the solution. Anyone can donate or do a fundraising drive.
Children in our community are looking to you to help today.
Every day in the state of Michigan, abused, neglected, and abandoned children are introduced to foster care. In fact, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States, 13,000 in Michigan, and over 500 in Macomb County alone!
Almost all of these children will enter the foster care system with just the clothes on their backs, making it necessary to replace essential items very quickly. These kids may not have their pajamas, toys, or favorite blanket or hoodie - or any of their clothes - all while finding themselves in an unfamiliar new home.
Giving a child a sense of identity and helping to restore their dignity is so important during this time of transition. For many foster families though, the cost of doing this can be prohibitive. While some of us can pull out a credit card and head to Kohl’s, not everyone can. Foster parents do receive a very small stipend to cover basic needs, but it is not enough to cover all necessities - and it can take weeks, sometimes months, to receive it.
That’s where the Macomb Foster Closet and our amazing donors come in – we help fill the gap. We are committed to providing children in foster care with the gift of hope for a better future. We also show them that their community is here to support them.