Outreach Partner Spotlight:
Foster Closet Serves Children and Families
Foster Closet serves children and the families who care for them in the foster care system. When children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care, they have only minutes to pack, often having only garage bags for luggage. Often, children arrive in homes with only the clothes on their backs. Caregivers can expect children to be placed with them with as little as one to two hours’ notice.
Every child who enters Foster Closet receives one week’s worth of clothing, two pairs of shoes, a set of pajamas, new underwear and socks, 10 age-appropriate toys (including video games and sporting goods), 10 books at their reading level, seasonal clothing needs, and a Bible. If the foster family has additional needs, such as a crib, stroller, car seat, etc., Foster Closet seeks to provide that as well. All of this is given at no cost for children newly placed in licensed foster homes in Duval, Nassau, St. Johns, and Clay counties. Foster Closet also helps young adults aging out of foster care, providing them with furniture, cleaning supplies and basic clothing and hygiene items. They provide free weekly tutoring to children, and monthly training, a support group and a monthly Parent’s Night Out for foster caregivers.
“We would love to say yes to every child and family that comes to us” Foster Closet founder Tammy McGuire says. “Grants from Christ Church have helped us fill gaps between immediate needs and supplies on hand.” Over the past five years, Christ Church has granted over $50,000 to Foster Closet, in addition to many service hours and in-kind gifts from parishioners.
“We are always amazed at the outpouring of love which is shown to our organization, meeting needs with God’s love through financial assistance and hands on service to Foster Closet and the children and families we serve” Tammy adds.
Christ Church parishioners John and Patti Ernst first volunteered at Foster Closet during a Day of Service a few years ago, and they continue to serve today. As the word has spread among their friends, their front porch regularly serves as a drop-off point for neighbors donating clothing, toys and more. “We want to congratulate and thank Foster Closet for the work that they do on behalf of children and families in the foster system” says Patti.
Future goals for Foster Closet are a foster parent mentor program, a free babysitting pool for each zip code around the city, a faith-based initiative, as well as a Lifeskill program for young adults. Learn more about Foster Closet and all of our outreach partner agencies at christepiscopalchurch.org
To donate items to Foster Closet, check out their Items Needed Page and then email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (904) 629-2116 during their hours of operation to schedule a drop-off.
Founder and President of Foster Closet Corp, Tammy McGuire shares from her heart ways you can help Foster Care: