With your donations, two foster closets in Terre Haute help local kids in foster care.

Did you know that the pinwheel is a symbol of child abuse prevention? Pinwheels are the very essence of fun, whimsical childhood memories that all children should have…but unfortunately not all do.

Today we are focusing on foster parents and the impact that they can have on their charges’ lives. The hope is that foster parents can provide a loving and supportive environment that leaves a positive impact on the foster kiddo.

When foster parents take on a child, they often need help and resources! Often when a child comes to a foster family they have only the clothes on their back or sometimes a trash bag with some clothing.

As the need for foster parenting and foster resources rises, two nonprofit organizations have stretched to meet this growing need in a thrifty way!

Sound interesting? Guess what? You can help! These foster closets in Terre Haute need your donations (of gear, clothing, and/or time). Read on for details!

In 2018, the Borrowed Hearts Foundation expanded into Terre Haute to help fill a gap that is becoming more and more common in our region.

This organization takes donated clothing, hygiene items and toys and distributes them to foster families in need with a foster closet “store”. This organization allows families to come in (with the placement letter showing that DCS has placed the child in their care), and pick up some items for their child at no cost to them!

For initial placements (when a child first moves in), families can have hygiene items and diapers. They can also “shop” for clothing for their foster child, at no cost.

The most amazing thing is that there is no limit to the amount of times that a family can come in and shop for their foster child. The organizers simply ask that families shop only for their foster kiddo(s) and only take what they need.

These clothing/gear closets meet an important need in the foster care community because foster children usually only get one clothing voucher (if that) from DCS. If a child is in care for a long period of time and/or grows quickly, foster parents must pay out of pockets for new clothing, gear, and supplies. 

The Borrowed Hearts store celebrated its grand opening on April 7th at 3000 College Avenue in The Life Center building (drive around the building to find the entrance to Borrowed Hearts). The hours vary based on volunteer availability. They are looking for volunteers to help and accept any donations during open hours! Check out their Facebook page at Borrowed Hearts Foundation for the most up-to-date schedule!

Another fabulous resource for foster parents in our area is the Indiana Foster & Adoptive Parents and Advocacy Group (IFAAP) clothes closet housed at the Northside Community United Methodist Church at 1075 N. Fruitridge Avenue. The clothes closet can provide not only clothing, but also toiletries, car seats, strollers, etc. and they are hoping that being located at the church will also create a connecting point for parents looking for moral, spiritual and mental support as they traverse the path of fostering.

If you’ve ever wondered what you should do with the gear and clothing your kids have outgrown, these foster closets in Terre Haute are happy to accept your gently-used gear and clothing items!

For more resources on foster parenting, IFAAP can be found on Facebook here Indiana Foster & Adoptive Parents Resources And Advocacy Group.

The Indiana foster care system is in crisis. With the number of children in foster care increasing in our state, it warms my heart to see these two foster closets in Terre Haute are opening up resources and linking arms in solidarity of mission, especially since the need for foster parents and CASAs is so great.

Keep up the good work advocates! Readers, consider donating your gently used clothing items and toys to one of these closets, think about becoming a CASA (legal advocate for kids in foster care) and ponder becoming a foster parent (you can read stories from local foster parents and see a checklist for how to become a foster parent HERE!), there is more than one way to help! 

Author/Photographer Bio: Emily Murray is a native Hoosier and has been a Hautian implant since coming to ISU for college in 2003. She now enjoys life in the Haute with her five-year-old daughter. Emily works in the nonprofit world and dabbles in photography, dog cuddling, running and eating (lots of eating). You can find Emily online (and reach out to her for her photography services!) at Mercy Me Photography