Nonprofit nestled in Galien helps children in foster care feel at home
GALIEN, Mich. – On the corner of Cleveland Avenue in the quiet town of Galien, is a place where children in foster care can shop in a store all their own.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services estimates approximately 13,000 children are in the state’s foster care system.
To combat the feeling of displacement, the Foster Closet of Michigan opens their doors to these children who can take what they need to feel at home.
“What we do here is collect new and used items and it’s all free to foster kids and the foster parents that are taking care of them.”
Apryll Freeman, the branch manager of the Berrien County Foster Closet, said the resources for families exist but she wants to see more families take advantage of this opportunity.
“We have been overloaded with so many great donations that we really need foster families to take what we have. It’s an endless amount, there is no limit,” said Freeman.
Inside the store is clothing suited for children, infants and teenagers, cribs, strollers, toys, books, and anything else a child might need to feel comfortable in a new home free of charge.
Freeman says the Galien location serves around 40 children, but she knows there are more out there.
“I just feel like they could really use the help. Especially the ones aging out, they may not have family to help them. So, this could be something they could come and use,” she explained.
The organization does not sell any of its items. Instead, it relies on the generosity of communities throughout the state and is operated by volunteers.
Freeman clarified that these services are not offered to just anyone. Families who visit the nonprofit must have an open case within the MDHHS.
To continue to ease the financial pressures for foster families, Freeman says, they need help to keep going.
To get involved with the Foster Closet of Michigan, stop by any location and ask for an application.
A 5K will be held on July 28 to help raise money for the organization. If you would like to sign up for the event or donate, check out the form below. You can also visit their website for more information.