By Mike Kruzman /

May is National Foster Care Month and a local organization is holding a shoe drive to help them provide for kids in foster homes and the families that take them in.

The Foster Closet in Fowlerville is an all-volunteer non-profit that provides services, supplies, support and aid to children in the Michigan foster care system o placed outside their parental home. To these families, and any of need in Livingston County, they provide new and gently used items like clothing, toys, shoes, baby equipment hygiene products and more free of charge.

Danielle DeVries is the group's Executive Director and a foster parent herself. She said many kids are taken to a foster home without much time to gather their belongings and often have little or none when they get to their new home. Though foster parents do receive a stipend, it can often take a month or more to first arrive. DeVries said the Foster Closet can fill that gap in time and help the kids feel better about themselves in the process. She said kids need things for school, babies need diapers and wipes, and this is where they are able to step in and help. DeVries said that it is often that kids come into the Foster Closet, and when they leave it is as if they have regained some sort of self-esteem and their day is looking a little bit brighter.

The Foster Closet has been operating for the past two years out of space donated to them from a business, but due to downsizing, the business is no longer able to do that. DeVries said they have worked out a deal with the owner, but are now paying rent. The Foster Closet runs solely on donations and is now having a shoe drive fundraiser through the end of the month to support their new financial need. They are accepting all styles, kids or adults, as long as the shoes don’t have holes or tears. After they receive 2,500 pairs, they have a deal with another non-profit that will cut them a check that will help pay for 2 months of rent for the shoes.

Shoes can be dropped off at their 10140 West Grand River location in Fowlerville, or at several sites around the county. Monetary donations are also being accepted.

For more information, visit their website through the link below.