JACKSONVILLE, Fla — May is National Foster Care Month and although fostering may not be for everyone, there are plenty of ways to help kids touched by the system.
One way is by donating or volunteering at the Foster Closet, a place foster parents like Jame Healy and Shewan Mason go to in a bind.
Mason says when they received their 4th placement Xiana at two weeks with a birth defect they weren't prepared for.
“It was kind of scary when you go to pick her up and they’re telling you all these things about your baby and that she’s going to have to have surgery," Mason said. “We reached out to foster closet because the hospital had some special needs that we should have had for Xiana to kind of keep her comfortable while she waited for her surgery and after her surgery.”
Situations like these are just one of the many reasons Foster Closet Founder and former foster parent Tammy McGuire says she created the closet in the first place.
“I was one of them so I know exactly what it feels like. You might have an infant one day and two days later or six months later you have a 5-year-old then a 13-year-old etc. hence the foster closet, it's a free resource," McGuire said.
Physical items aren't the only thing the closet has to offer. Tutoring for older school-aged kids and support groups for foster parents just to name a few.
“I was able to also attend a support group and kind of share my concerns that are facilitated by a licensed mental health counselor. We were able to get support from other foster parents," Mason said.
For more information on how you get involved with the Foster Closet click here.