Two sisters using their experience in the foster care system to help people like them continue to see their work grow.
Four Rock Island brothers and sisters came up big winners for their work in June when they won a $10,000 dollar grant.
We told you about the siblings nonprofit. Closet2Closet in the past. The organization started about four years ago to provide free clothes to kids in foster care.
Since then, they’ve helped more than 4,000 teens throughout Illinois and Iowa.
“People don’t really get to know you if you have weird clothes or don’t have clothes that don’t really fit you, said” Closet2Closet Founder Amber Haskill.
Clothes can sometimes tell you a lot about the person who wears them. But those signals can be confusing if they aren’t familiar with the person’s background.
“I used to get picked on all the time when I was a little kid just cause of what I wore and what I looked like,” said Amber.
For Amber and Amy Haskill, growing up was difficult in the foster care system.
“I had moved like 6 times, my sister had moved 11 times and it was really hard,” said Closet2Closet Founder Amy Haskill.
“When we would move we would often lose our clothes,” said Amber.
Shortly after getting adopted, they decided they wanted to provide teens in foster care something they didn’t often have.
“When I was little I didn’t get to choose my outfits, I didn’t get to choose my haircut or I didn’t get to choose what I wore,” said Amber.
Realizing the right outfit could bring kids confidence, their family helped start Closet2Closet.
“We often like didn’t have the clothes that made us feel like who we are so we’re hoping that with this, foster kids like empowerment and feel like they’re worth more than they receive because of the clothes that they have,” said Amber.
Clothing is donated and given out through referrals from schools and agencies.
“It was exclusively just come in and shop for free,” said Closet2Closet Founder and brother Logan Haskill. “But eventually we found out it’s really hard for foster kids to get transport. That’s when we started the care package option.”
How it works is teens fill out a form with info on everything from size to favorite colors.
“What’s really important to us as an organization is personalization. And if we wanted to have a care package option we need to be personalized as possible almost if they were in our store shopping,” said Logan.
They hope with the right wardrobe foster teens can be comfortable no matter their situation.
“It provides self-esteem to them because they can feel like they belong and they can fit in with their schools. And whenever they’re moving they’ll always have these clothes because they’re theirs because they picked them out,” said Amy.
The grant money they received last summer is being used towards a permanent clothing room in Rock Island. It’s currently under construction, but they hope to open up their space to foster kids in late spring or early summer this year.
They’ll also be hosting their annual prom dress fundraiser on March 17, 20, 27, 28. Dresses will be $10. It’ll take place at:
Trinity Lutheran Church (Faith Hall entrance)
1330 13th Street
Moline, IL 61265
Sat., March 17, 10 A.M.-Noon
Tue., March 20, 6:30-8:30 P.M.
Tue., March 27, 6:30-8:30 P.M.
Wed., March 28, 5:00-7:00 P.M.
If you would like to volunteer, donate, have questions or know a teen in foster care who could benefit from this you can contact the organizers by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org, calling or texting them at 309-235-8786, visiting their website closet2closet.org or by clicking here.
You can also contact them on their Facebook page by clicking here.