“While there are a lot of requirements to be a foster parent, being independently wealthy is not one,” Executive Director Mark Phair said. “There are an estimated 16,000 young people with the Ohio foster care system. It is our goal to serve as many of them as possible and more. We want to be here for anyone who needs us, both foster and kinship care.”
Hopes Closet provides two services. The first, implied by the name, is to provide clothing and shoes to local foster children, as well as other resources such as personal care items, baby equipment, school supplies, Easter baskets and Christmas presents, through their boutique.
“Many times, a child enters the foster care system with little to no clothing or other personal items, so we can provide a critical service to them,” Phair said.
The items come through donations from both individuals and businesses.
The second service is to provide foster parent recruitment and retention.
“Hopes Closet has a core commitment to educating the citizens of Butler County and beyond on the need and opportunities for becoming a foster parent. We work closely with Butler County Children’s Services to identify individuals who want to pursue the process of becoming a foster parent,” Phair said. “We also host a series of trainings, continuing education programs, support groups, fellowship groups, and whole family recreational activities so that the foster parents we work with are surrounded with multiple levels of care and have the ability to connect with other like-minded individuals and families.”
HOW TO HELP
Going forward, Hopes Closet’s main goal is to keep serving the community and to continue to grow its material resources. For that to happen, Hopes Closet relies on donations and fundraisers.
One upcoming fundraiser, the annual One WILD Night gala at The Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s in Fairfield, will be Feb. 4, 2023. Tickets are $150, and through an evening of food, fun, and a musical performance by The Naked Karate Girls, Hopes Closet hopes to raise $100,000.
Hopes Closet is located at 9850 Princeton Glendale Rd Suite C, in West Chester Twp.