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Savannah’s Closet aids foster kids, parents

Savannah’s Closet in Ravenswood serves the foster care community by providing kids with free clothes, toiletries and shoes. (Photo Provided)

RAVENSWOOD — To assist children in the foster care system, Savannah’s Closet in Ravenswood offers free clothes, toiletries, shoes and other items as a way to help the kids and foster parents.

Opened in March 2018, Savannah’s Closet is set up like a boutique so that each child can come in and pick out the clothes they like and try them on.

With the upcoming prom season, Savannah’s Closet also keeps a stock of prom or other formal dance dresses for community members who may be in need of one.

“We make a point to have everything new with tags. We have it set up like a boutique so it’s more like a shopping experience for them,” Amber True, program director, said.

Since its beginning, True said they’ve helped close to 275 kids. It operates on a referral basis. The organization works with social workers and services providers for those referrals.

Set up like a boutique, the kids can come in and shop just like they would in a regular store and try on what they like. (Photo Provided)

“We get anywhere from 10 to 15 referrals a month,” True said.

The idea for the organization stemmed from True’s career in the foster care system.

“I learned that one of the biggest complaint and needs from foster parents and kinship places, the clothing voucher either wasn’t coming or it wasn’t enough to cover the needs,” True said. “I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to help these kids. I left my job to open and get this organization started.”

Savannah’s Closet was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Sisters Health Foundation and $1,000 from Constellium. Those funds will be solely used for purchasing clothing, food and toiletries, True said.

“About 50 percent of our money that comes in would be grants and private donations. What else is needed financially, we do multiple fundraisers throughout the year. (We) always try and make them fun and kid oriented,” she said.

Growth is in the future of Savannah’s Closet. True said said they have outgrown their current space and are hoping to move to a larger location. Her vision was to see it become a statewide program.

“I definitely would love to see it expand further,” True said.

To donate or volunteer, contact savannahsclosetwv@gmail.com or through the Savannah’s Closet Facebook page.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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