LIDALE, TX (KLTV) - November is National Adoption Month. All month long we have been sharing with you stories of adoption and those who support the adoption process.
The efforts of a high school student have helped numerous girls in foster care feel better about themselves. Emily Allegretto, 16, loves fashion and feels called to help others. Put the two together and you get Keeps Boutique.
It's a store with no cash register, and she doesn't accept payment for her merchandise. That's because everything in the store is free. It is Allegretto's way of reaching out to girls her own age in foster care.
"They start off maybe a little shy, then, once they really start shopping, they laugh and they try things on," said Allegretto.
This is the second store of its kind. The first one started in Dallas and that is where Emily got the idea.
Keeps comes from Genesis 28:15, "Remember, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go."
Allegretto says right now this is God's calling in her life.
"[I want to] just show these girls their value and love that he has for them, and I really want them to see that," said Allegretto. "So, just to be able to have something like this and for Him to be able to work through me to get to them, I just love that and I feel really honored to be able to do that."
Girls between 13 and 18 years old can take up to six items; everything from jeans to tops and accessories. And, they aren't limited to the number of times they can come back during the year. With each visit the bond between Allegretto and the young girls in foster care grows stronger.
"I think like my favorite thing from the whole year...is when the same family comes back a second time," said Allegretto. "It's really fun because I get to know them more and build a relationship and stuff."
After all, it's not just about shopping, there is also a support system with time for prayer and sharing about what's going on in each girl's life.
This month marks a year for the super trendy store with a special mission - something Allegretto hopes to continue until she goes to college.
"Hopefully another young lady will come along and it will be the right on to sort of take over," said Allegretto.
Until then, Allegretto loves to open her store and her heart to show each amazing young woman the gift of love.
If you'd like more information about East Texas children available for adoption call our Gift of Love hotline, toll-free, 1-888-kids-275.
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