Foster Families Get Needed Donations

The doors are now open for foster children who need clothes on the coast. The South Mississippi Foster Parent Association held an open house Saturday to welcome local foster families. The open house was at a new location in Pascagoula. Kara's Kloset is giving foster children access to some basic necessities.

"How can we not be foster parents when there's so many kids that need homes and need families?" said Milissa Boykin, a foster parent.

256 children are in foster homes in Jackson County. That's why foster parents like Milissa Boykin, who has five children living with her, constantly need clothes for the children.

"Any foster parent can come down here and get what they need--clothes, anything," said Jean Hatcher, with the South Mississippi Foster Association. "You name it. They can get it."

Volunteers with Kara's Kloset said it was started because of the growing number of foster children in Jackson County.

"We started this through donations," said Hatcher. "Our first donation was a friend of hers mailed up eight boxes of clothes--baby's clothes. That got us started."

Now they have a building full of clothes and necessities available to everyone from infants to teen-agers.

"Sometimes we get kids in," said Hatcher. "It may be late at night, and they come with nothing. I mean nothing. Not even a diaper."

"I got a baby probably four months ago, and I got the baby, and that was it" said Boykin. "I didn't get anything else. And if it hadn't been for the closet, I would have been scratching for a bed and clothes."

Kara's Kloset offers everything free of charge to foster families.

"They probably ain't never had new clothes or ain't never had new toys," said Hatcher.

And Boykin said having a place like Kara's Kloset, where foster kids can get new clothes and toys, makes anyone able to be a foster parent.

"You don't have to be rich to do this. You have to be rich at heart."

Kara's Kloset is not open to the public. It is only open to foster parents and children.

If you would like to donate any items to the Kloset, it is located at the Belair Shopping Center on Old Mobile Highway in Pascagoula. The hours are ten until two Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.