Goods sought for foster parents’ closet

Published 1:19 am Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Foster families help other foster families. That’s how Felicia Ganous explained her idea of a Foster Parent Clothes Closet.

“Being a foster parent, I see the need and how great the need for this is,” Ganous said. “The Department of Human Resources helps of course, but they don’t provide everything.”

Ganous said that many of the children in the foster care system, come to their new homes with as little as a black garbage bag filled with only a few items.

“The foster parents never know what age the kid may be,” Ganous said. “So they can’t go out and be prepared and have even the necessities.”

The children Ganous has fostered have not had their own things.

“They come with nothing,” Ganous said. “And I believe every child needs to have something of their own to take care of.”

Ganous is looking for all types of clothing and item donations including used clothes, pack and plays, purses, stuffed animals, baby beds, high chairs, cribs and toys, all for newborn to 18 years of age.

“That is a short list of the things we need,” Ganous said. “We will take anything that you have.”

Right now, the Foster Parent Clothing Closet is in a storage unit behind Rite-Aid, but Ganous hopes to move to a new facility soon.

“This storage unit is not cooled or heated, so if we had a building to use then we could take care of the items better,” Ganous said. “Since we are just starting we are very thankful to be able to use the storage unit, but we know that once we grow we will need a bigger place. Some things we need right now as well as stuff for the kids, are hangers for the clothes and racks to hang the clothes.”

Ganous said that this project has been a work in progress, but the community has shown great support.

“There has been a really great response from the community,” Ganous said. “They have brought lots and lots of clothes and that is such a big help.”

In the last 30 days, Covington County has taken in 14 foster children, Ganous said.

“We are hoping to get a lot of good stuff to help other foster families,” Ganous said. “We decided to take on this project because DHR needs all the help they can get and foster children need this stuff as much as your own children.”

Ganous’ biggest goal going forward is a bigger space for the donated items.

“We need an air conditioned and heated space for the clothes, that is our biggest goal right now,” Ganous said. “We have contacted several businesses and churches for some help, but none have responded yet. We are still hopeful, though.”

Tari McClung and Kim Holmes have been helping Ganous as well.

“They are both foster moms,” Ganous said. “So being in the foster care system, it’s like we are a big family and we help each other.”

Ganous also said that there is a huge need for foster parents right now in Covington County.

“The first foster parent class that is required to be a foster parent starts August 22,” Ganous said. “You can contact Natalie Penson at DHR, or contact another foster parent, we can talk you through everything that you need to know.”

For more information about the Foster Parent Clothes Closet, contact Ganous at 334-804-8740.