OAKLAND COUNTY FOSTER CLOSET
MISSION & HISTORY.
The Oakland County Foster Closet offers support services, supplies, and aid to children in the foster care system and to those in crisis situations. It is our mission to foster hope, love, and community one child at a time!
In 2013 foster Mom, Michele Austin decided to open up a foster closet in her own home, she wanted other families to have access to items that foster kids were in need of. She knew first hand that often times, kids enter the foster care system with nothing but the clothes on their back. She researched to see if there were any services available in her area, and unfortunately she didn’t find anything, so she decided to start her own, and become the Foster Closet of Michigan – Oakland County Branch. She eventually became president of the Foster Closet of Michigan which included many branches around the state.
The closet in Oakland County continued to grow leaps and bounds, donations came in, people all around were excited to help and happy to see the success. The foster closet eventually moved into an office building space, which allowed space for different rooms, the coat room, the shoe/boots room, the baby room, the teen room, and their sorting room, plus more! People loved donating to the closet, as they liked knowing that their items were going back to those in the local community for free! Volunteers loved knowing that their time and help made a direct positive impact on the foster families right in their own neighborhoods and cities!
As the closets began to grow, each closet decided to transition into their own 501c3 entity, and in May of 2018 Liz DeLisle, with the help of Michele opened up the Oakland County Foster Closet. With a mission to foster hope, love and community Michele, Liz, and Nancy along with many volunteers, are able to help hundreds of foster and at-risk families per year!
WHO WE ARE.
We are a 501c3 non-profit, taxable organization. Operated 100% by volunteers; most of them foster families themselves. Liz and Michele are directors and Nancy is our operations manager!
WHAT WE DO.
Our organization provides clothing, underclothing, toys, shoes, baby equipment, and gear and in some cases furniture to children placed in the foster care stystem in State of Michigan. These items are new and like new items that have been donated to us. Children are often placed in foster care with no personal items and in many cases they come into care with only the clothes on their back. Our organization provides these kids with stylish new or like new clothes and personal items helping to begin the process of rebuilding their self-esteem and providing them with belongings they can call their own.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Our organization helps reduce the financial strain a new placement can place on foster family by freeing up funds that would otherwise be used to fulfill these immediate needs. These needs are not always met immediately or in full by the State and that is where we step in. Meeting these needs allow foster parents to be able to use the funds saved to help the children adapt to their new home life in other ways. The Foster Closet is not a “One Stop” shop; you may use it seasonally.