Kelsey Metz

From cribs to car seats: Buckhannon foster closet relies on donations to support growing needs

BUCKHANNON – A new foster closet is looking for donations of baby items, including clothes, cribs and car seats.

The Graciously Giving Through Christ Foster Closet in the South Buckhannon Mission Church began operating in March of this year. Founder Kelsey Metz said she was inspired to open a local closet after seeing a need for more resources for foster and kinship families.

“The idea started rolling in my mind around December of last year,” Metz said. “I have a friend who runs a nonprofit foster closet called Faithfully Fostering out of Grafton, and she’s really been an inspiration for me as far as trying to get this going. When I started exploring foster closets around the state, I realized there are several resources in the northern part of the state, there are many in the southern part, but the central area was blank as far as closets and resources for foster and kinship families.”

Metz considered starting the closet in her own home, but then space opened up at the South Buckhannon Mission Church.

“Most of the items have come from donations from our church congregation, as well as our community,” she said. “Once we put the word out on our Facebook page that we were accepting items, the community really came together to help fill the closet and continues to help fill the closet. Our church congregation has spread the word, and it’s really helped bring items in and even monetary donations to help us fill the needs that pop up.”

The closet is in Buckhannon, but families from other counties are also welcome to reach out if they need items for their foster or kinship families.

“All of the items that we have are free,” Metz said. “We don’t ask for anything specific other than we would like to see some type of custodial paperwork or the agency you’re working with. The same thing goes for kinship families, which would be grandparents who have custodial rights to grandchildren, aunts and uncles, so you don’t technically necessarily have to be classified as foster because we want to help kinship families too.”

Families hoping to utilize the closet can contact them through their Facebook page.

“We post times that we’re open, and all of our contact information is on there for families to reach out to us throughout the summer,” Metz said. “We’re operating on a needs basis only, so families can reach us through Facebook Messenger, email or the phone number provided. We have also worked with local foster care agencies. Necco out of Elkins is a prime example; they service a lot of foster families around our area, so a lot of times, we’ll get referrals through them.”

Beds, bedding and frames for beds have been a few highly requested items.

“Beds have been a very difficult thing to come up with,” she said. “At this point, the easiest method for us is monetary donations, so that if we don’t have those beds in stock or a certain size, we’re just able to go out and purchase when the immediate need arises. Gift cards to Walmart or places like that are also amazing; if you know community members who want to help out, those are great ways to help us.”

The closet is specifically looking for baby clothing, baby blankets, burp cloths, bibs, diapers, pull-ups, wipes, car seats, swings, strollers, crib sheets and twin-size bedding.

“We want families to be able to focus on the emotional needs that come with these kids; the last thing that we want families to have to worry about is running out to Walmart to get basic needs for them,” Metz said. “If we can be readily accessible for them to just come and get what they need, they don’t have to worry about leaving in the middle of the night to get something or not having the money for something expensive like a car seat or a bed.”

Monetary donations for the closet can be completed through a check made out to South Buckhannon Mission Church with the foster closet listed on the memo line. Other donations can also be made by contacting the closet and setting up a time to meet.

“I would estimate we have helped around 30 to 40 children at this point, and that has been since the second week of March,” Metz said. “I anticipate the summer months will be even busier, and it seems as the word gets out, the closet is helping more and more families, which is awesome because that’s what we’re here for. We just want to help as many people as possible we can. God continues to provide everything we need to do it, so it’s been a true blessing.”

News Feed

Subscribe to remove popups, or just enjoy this free story and support our local businesses!