NEWBERRY — In partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement, the Department of Social Services unveiled the Lowe’s Hero’s Closet Friday afternoon.
This closet will benefit foster children, displaced children, vulnerable adults and adults looking for appropriate interview attire.
“Lowe’s does a Hero Project every year. We wanted to do something for children and we thought that this would be the best place to do something, so I called and asked Ken what we could do for DSS and the children and he said a closet,” said Linda Heaps, Lowe’s sales and supports manager.
Ken McBride, DSS county director said they want to help the community as much as possible with this closet.
“If someone gets burned out of their home, they are more than welcome to come and use it also,” he said.
Clothes for all ages are accepted, but underwear, or anything that could contain bacteria or harm a child or adult, are not to be donated.
“We give to vulnerable adults because sometimes they might need some new clothes to go to a nursing home or assisted living or just finding them a different place to live. If someone is looking for a job, they can also come in and get appropriate clothing so that they can go out for an interview,” McBride said. “Our biggest focus is our foster children and making sure that they always have nice clothes, and focusing on our Kinship care.”
He stressed not only the importance of foster care, but supporting the parents taking in children, who have come to them with virtually nothing.
“Sometimes some of these children come out of meth houses where they can’t come with anything. So this will be a great opportunity for them (foster parents) to come and get clothes for these children in a quick fashion,” McBride said.
Looking toward the future, McBride said he hopes the Lowe’s Hero’s Closet will be another way the community can grow and allow children and adults to have the clothes they need.
“We really want to be part of the community and we hope that this is another way that we can help our community grow. We want to help people get jobs, become independent and we want our kids to not be ostracized because we don’t have the right size clothes or anything like that,” he said.
Rep. Rick Martin said how much the unveiling of the Lowe’s Hero’s Closet means to him, as a foster parent, and how this closet will benefit the children and adults in the community.
“It means so much to me when I’m dealing with other state officials and they tell me they want to be like Newberry County. This let’s everyone know that you all care about our children and we should do all we can to protect these children,” he said. “For the community, this is an outstanding benefit. Not only can the foster children and parents have access to this, but this is a community closet. I hope that everyone in Newberry County will look at this with pride and hope this expands to a point where everyone can contribute to it.”
For anyone who would like to contribute to the Lowe’s Hero’s Closet, DSS hours are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. every day.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.