Gift of Love: Keeps Boutique - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/14/08- Garden Valley, Texas

Gift of Love: Keeps Boutique

An empty plot of land in East Texas has the potential to affect many young lives in foster care. Plans for the future home of the "Keeps Boutique" are slowly starting to take shape but the vision for this project is already concrete, thanks to the drive and prayer of a 15 year old girl from Lindale, named Emily Allegretto.

"I've always loved fashion and I never thought I could use fashion and ministry together. I am only 15 and when I think about all the other girls that are 15 I think, what a big opportunity this is. It's cool and I'm glad that God brought it to me. It's special and I'm excited to see how it works."

Emily will partner with the "Keeps Boutique" in Southlake, Texas. Together, they will solicit designers and stock their boutiques with high-end donated clothing, all free to foster girls between the ages of 11 and 18.

Emily says, "It's not just all about the clothes. It's just one opportunity to tell them about God and show them about God and make them feel good about themselves."

"It helps your confidence cause if you feel comfortable with what you're wearing you can be more confident about yourself," says Rhonda, a 17 year old East Texas foster child.

Emily has her work cut out for her, starting from the ground up. She is grateful to Living Alternatives in Garden Valley for donating the land. "We just saw how "Keeps" fit perfectly with Living Alternatives because their overall thing is they value life, whether it's a baby in the womb or a pregnant girl, or girls in foster care or whoever it is, we should value all life. So it fits good," says Emily.

"Keeps Boutique" gets its name from Genesis 28:15, and Emily knows she will have to rely on her faith to complete this massive project.

"We're looking for builders, people to help donate furniture, everything inside like paint, flooring and stuff for the outside like landscaping. We also need hangers with our logo on it maybe, we need clothing racks, lighting fixtures, everything," explains Emily.

An empty lot that will one day fill an empty void for many East Texas foster girls. Rhonda says, "When I left my home, I didn't have anything with me at all. All I had were the clothes that I was wearing. This will be a blessing."

And when Emily opens the doors to her "Keeps Boutique," she will also open new opportunities. For her, it's more than just a building, it's a mission. She says, "It's going to affect girls all over and hopefully they'll effect other girls from what "Keeps" plants in them."

Emily is hoping her "Keeps Boutique" will be open in the fall. If you are interested in donating or helping with the "Keeps Boutique" in East Texas, call 903-882-0182.

Gillian Sheridan, Reporting


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