New non-profit helps kids who need it most
COLUMBIA - All Kids in Crisis Clothing Closet provides free clothing for foster parents and others who have children that are experiencing tough times.
Free clothing can be a big help to foster parents who, in some cases, inadequate compensation for all the expenses that come with their foster child.
Melissa Rubio-Hernandez has seven children, four of them are foster kids, who she has recently gained guardianship of.
Rubio-Hernandez said she has first-hand experience with the inadequate monetary support from the state.
"I've got all these kids and I have no way to afford all of these necessities that they need," she said.
Along with foster parents, social workers and anyone else with a referral can get free, new or barely used clothes from the closet.
Co-CEO Jennifer Morrell saw it as very important that kids be the focus of the group because kids have to rely on others.
"The main focus is on kids," Morrell said. "Because kids can't help themselves, they need their own advocate.”
Even with the group geared toward kids there is still a big impact on parents.
“Most parents are worried about their kids and what they need more than themselves, we just want to take a little struggle off of them,” said Found and co-CEO Sylvia Sprinkle
Sylvia says running this organization is a full time job and you need to really care for the people you are serving.
She has seen first-hand what they can do for kids and their parents.
“They think it's Christmas, they're able to take off there shoes that have holes in them and they are able to put on brand new pair of shoes on that means a lot to that little child that just came out of a bad situation,” Sprinkle said.
The closet is open every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at the Stephens Community Center.
The goal of non-profit is to have a permanent place by the end of 2018, so the closet can be open six days a week.
Morrell said the biggest thing is just making sure people know that they are out there and very willing to help.
“We are limited by what resources we have available to us but that is not going to stop us from doing it.”
For Rubio-Hernandez it all comes back the kids and what they deserve.
"I do believe that all children, foster or what not, any child should be able to have nice clothing," she said.