Doing Good: Fayetteville businesses host children’s clothing drive – Atlanta Journal Constitution
Local business owners in Fayette County are teaming up to collect basic clothing essentials for foster children who utilize The Bloom Closet in Fayetteville.
In its second year, the And to All a Good Night Clothing Drive will take donations of socks, underwear and pajamas for babies, teens and children until Dec. 31 to support the local free clothing resource center for foster children.
The items are distributed year-round in The Bloom Closet to each child that comes to the nonprofit. Whether donated or purchased, Bloom gives out a week’s worth of clothing per visit, plus toiletries, school supplies, books, and games. In the past year, The Bloom Closet has served more than 1,000 foster children from 60 Georgia counties.
In 2014, the total value of donations distributed to foster children from The Bloom Closet was more than $150,000.
After hearing about the tremendous needs of foster families, Richelle Mathis of Edward Jones was determined to come up with a way to help.
“After meeting with The Bloom Closet and understanding their needs, we worked to create the And to All a Good Night Clothing Drive,” she said.
The clothing drive has grown to include the involvement of Wings N Things, the Edward Jones office of Floyd Gantt, The UPS Store and Advanced Physical Therapy of Fayetteville.
“This is the second year for this clothing drive, and the business owners involved project it will once again be a big success thanks to the generosity of the community,” said Mathis.
To help Bloom serve more children and families, people can volunteer to help sort through over 500 bags of donations per month, organize the clothing and get it distributed to the foster children as quickly as possible. The organization is also always seeking people willing to open up their hearts and homes as foster families.
“The ongoing generosity and support provided by the business leaders in Fayette County is simply overwhelming,” said Kristin Melton, marketing director of The Bloom Closet. “It is wonderful to be part of a community that is so willing to lift up those in need. Not only do they influence change in the lives of the foster children that we serve, but they also encourage others to follow in their footsteps.”
The organization was originally started in 1986 with the opening of a children’s shelter in Fayette County and now has grown to now include three programs for foster children in Georgia: The Friday-Johnson Home, a residential group home that houses up to ten children, a foster parenting program that involves recruiting, training, and supporting foster families, and The Bloom Closet, a free clothing resource center for foster children in Georgia.
In other news: The second annual Harvest for a Cure event was held at the Westside Cultural Arts Center on Oct. 22 to benefit the Georgia Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, an organization that supports research to help treat and end MS globally. The event raised over $300,000 to help improve the lives of people living with MS by sponsoring local programs and services and accelerating worldwide research projects to help put an end to the debilitating disease.