HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – A new Hastings nonprofit is looking to help kids in foster care or in crisis shelters get new clothes during a difficult time in their lives. Threads of Grace is just in the starting phases but one foster mom and a school counselor are teaming up to help kids have new and clean clothes as they enter a new home or leave an old one.
When a child is put into a new foster home, they often come with no clothes or they are not always in good condition. Co-Founder Kelly Augustin fostered twins. She said their clothes smelled like mold so they went out and bought all new clothes which racked up a lot of money.
“I think for them more than anything to go to school and fit in with their peers and not stand out because they’re dressed in something that doesn’t fit them or is dirty or has holes in it,” Augustin said.
While foster parents get a stipend, it doesn’t come in until after the first month.
“We don’t want something as simple as what you wear or getting dressed everyday to hinder your ability to have your best day,” Co-Founder Julie Samuelson said.
They want to help case workers and foster parents by having a store-like setup for kids to pick their own clothes right away. They hope to partner with local businesses and agencies to get the clothing and find kids who need it.
“We are only going to be donating clothing with tags. We want brand new clothing with tags to help kind of give those kids that dignity they deserve, something that’s just theirs and never been anybody else’s,” Augustin said.
The office is being built in the basement of Ruhter Auction & Realty on Highway 6 in Hastings and they hope to open in the summer. Threads of Grace is also going to be working with DHHS and the SASA Crisis Center to help kids who may have had to leave their things behind in a dangerous situation.
“Often the family hasn’t had much time to prepare or they’re leaving very quickly and kids have had to leave behind their favorite outfits along with all their other things and so we were excited for the opportunity for them to choose their own brand new clothes,” SASA Executive Director Jo Springer said.
Kelly and Julie are passionate about giving kids dignity and making their challenging times that much easier. People can donate new clothing to help them get started. They plan to just cover Adams County to start, but hope to reach out to more counties and schools in the future.
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