TYLER, TX (KLTV) - When you think about dressing your kid each day, it most likely involves a lot of clothes, and possibly a few wardrobe changes throughout the day.
For children who are unexpectedly placed in protective care, the clothes on their backs may be the only thing they have to wear for weeks to come.
“They were taken in the middle of the night, I got them at 12:30 in the morning,” said assistant director of Legacy Closet Veronica McGee. “They had not had dinner, and they hadn’t had a bath in a few days, so if I hadn’t had Legacy Closet I don’t know what I would have done.”
It was in Legacy Closet, located behind Fellowship Bible Church of Longview, Mcgee says she was able to put clothes on her then-foster child free of charge.
“They can come here and kind of shop, so to speak, or they can come here and we can pull for them,” said director Kara Curfman.
Curfman said this mission is personal. The closet was established to help foster parents know they are not alone. She encourages families to pick at least a week’s worth of clothing and said families are welcome to come back for more clothes when they need them.
Both Curfman and McGee are adoptive mothers of multiple children. It was during their years as foster parents that they saw the great need for a place families could seek help during the often-fast child placement process.
“It’s more like a big family here,” said Curfman. “We’re here to support them and to care for them while they are caring for their invisible children.
“A lot of our kids come with clothes that are too small,” said McGee. “They don’t come in underwear because you can’t see underwear. Parents a lot of the time don’t have the money to go buy that, so a lot of the time our children don’t even have underwear on when they come to us.”
This is an item McGee says the closet is always in need of. “Then they can go to school and they can hold their head a little higher,” said McGee.
It's donations from the community that keep Legacy Closet open to families in need.
“We’ve had a lot of people come forward and say I want to be a part of foster care, this is what I want to do,” said Curfman. “That’s been neat for those who aren’t foster parents and aren’t planning to be.”
To learn more about Legacy Closet, visit their website here.