ROCHESTER, Minn.- The Olmsted County Foster Care Closet actually runs out of two Rochester resident's homes.
Alicia Ober started the Olmsted County Foster Care Closet 4 years ago. "Because I learned that there were no foster care closets around at all so I wanted to be able to open something up that would allow foster families and adoptive families come and get items that they needed that were coming into foster care."
Being a foster parent or a foster child isn't for the faint of heart. Alicia knows that first hand. "Growing up as a foster child I had one of the worst experiences, like I got taken out of school when I was placed in foster care, so I went with absolutely nothing at all."
All of the donations now fairly flooding the closet have touched her heart and required a call for backup to an old friend, Amy Streichert-Blair. "I met Alicia when we took a foster sibling group, she was able to help us get set up with swings...we got twin babies, so she was able to get us set up with swings and diapers and things like that."
When Alicia told Amy she needed help, Amy was all in. Both women know the worthwhile task of raising a foster child truly takes a village. Amy said, "You're more concerned about the child and their wellbeing at the moment and pouring some nurturing into them so it’s really not your first priority to think of you know oh, I should go shop for new shoes and new this and that! You're just wanting to take them in and help them emotionally."
Fueled by a village's love and run through a Facebook page, the foster care closet now thrives in the Rochester homes of Amy and Alicia. "This is what's going to make our next generation so if we have a generation that sees an outpouring of love and giving then we can have a better chance of a better society at the end of the day.”
If you’d like to check out the Olmsted County Foster Care Closet, click here for their Facebook page.
To reach Alicia directly about needs you may have or items you’d like to donate, you can email her at Alicia.email@example.com