Clothing Closet

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Clothing ClosetOn average, foster children could move seven times before the age of 18, usually abruptly leaving their home with very few belongings.

The Families Helping Families Clothing Closet is a free store for foster families to find clothing, shoes, and supplies for infants, children and teens placed in foster care, relative, or other approved placement and those adopted from foster care.

Volunteers staff the Clothing Closet where donations from our wonderful community are accepted, sorted and displayed like a store.

About the Clothing Closet

Children caretakers are welcome to visit the Clothing Closet and shop to get essentials to make sure their children have the best chance of success in their temporary home. The Clothing Closet offers clothing options for infants, babies, toddlers, and children, up through high school age. You’ll get to choose from current styles for any season!

Who Qualifies for the Clothing Closet?

Only available to children who are currently in foster care, relative placement, or other approved placement by the Department of Human Services and those who have been adopted from foster care. Children must be between the ages of 1 and 18, and children over the age of 18 must have been re-entered into foster care or a special needs basis.

How do I shop the Closet?

Donations of like-new clothing and other essentials are donated by generous people like you, and stores.  Youth or their caregivers can shop the Families Helping Families Clothing Closet once per season with 30 days between visits.

Donating to the Clothing Closet

Gently used clothing and new donations (socks, underwear) are welcome by drop-off or by appointment. No donations accepted after hours, please. We ask for the highest quality of gently-used items, or new items, to be donated, so please read the “Before You Donate” information below for more information on accepted items to the Clothing Closet.

Donated items that cannot be used in the Clothing Closet (including household furniture or excess clothing in certain sizes) are resold at Stuff Etc., with funds benefiting Families Helping Families. These funds assist with utility and maintenance of our facility, as well as funding the Clothing Closet availability. Your support, no matter how large or small, makes a difference.

Hold a Clothing Closet drive

Have you ever thought about holding a drive to collect items for Families Helping Families of Iowa? It’s really an easy thing to do at your job or office, church, local organization, or even with your friends. We can always use diapers, wipes, new socks, undergarments, and more! See the list of needs for our kiddos below.

We greatly appreciate the support of all of you who help fulfill our mission of caring for Iowa’s Children in foster care!

Donations in Need

  • Baby clothing – all sizes, including preemie and newborn
  • Disposable baby diapers (new)
  • Baby cribs (no drop down sides)
  • Baby bed mattresses
  • Exer-saucers / Rock & Plays / Pack & Plays
  • Button-down sleepers – ideal for babies with feeding tubes
  • Baby blankets and receiving blankets
  • Crib sheets
  • Baby bottles (Avent or Dr John’s)
  • Girls’ underwear: sizes 6, 10, 12, 2-4T, 5 (new only)
  • Boys’ underwear: sizes 6-8, 2-4T, 5 (new only)
  • Children socks – sizes 13 and up (new only)
  • Underwear – girls and boys, sizes 6 and up (new only)
  • Nightgowns and pajamas
  • Pants: sweatpants, skinny and straight-leg jeans, khakis
  • Tops: long and short sleeve, polo, sweatshirts
  • Coats (no fur-lined hoods)
  • Shoes – new or gently used only
  • Teen underwear and socks (new only, all sizes)
  • Sports bras (new only, all sizes)
  • Nightgowns and pajamas
  • Pants: sweatpants, skinny and straight-leg jeans, khakis
  • Tops: long and short sleeve, polo, sweatshirts
  • Coats (no fur-lined hoods)
  • Shoes – new or gently used only

Winter months require more specific needs for kiddos in Iowa. If you have the following items available (in excellent condition) for boys and girls, we can take them off your hands:

  • Winter coats (no fur-lined hoods, please)
  • Snow pants (suspender or non-suspender)
  • Gloves and mittens
  • Hats and earmuffs (e.g. stocking hats, ear warmers, etc.)
  • Scarves

Before You Donate

At Families Helping Families, we want to ensure the foster community has the best options for caring for children. Because we pride our organization on quality programs and support, we ask that donors review the following guidelines:

Check our list of needs

While we accept clothing and accessories for infants through teens, we do have lists of highest needs and requirements for what will be accepted. New underwear, socks, and shoes, for example, are often in high demand. If you’re unsure of items you’d like to donate, please contact us today or read our list of unaccepted items below.

Look over your donations

Items that are stained, worn, damaged or well-loved are often not suitable candidates for donation to the Families Helping Families Clothing Closet. Please use your best judgment when gathering and donating items. When in doubt, give us a call to discuss your desired donation.

Unacceptable Donations

At Families Helping Families, we strive to provide the best clothing and accessories for foster and relative placement families. To ensure quality and safety of items provided to the families we support, the following items will NOT be accepted as donation to the FHF Clothing Closet:

  • Used socks and underwear (all sizes)
  • Stained, ripped or odored (smelly) or other well-loved clothing
  • Mismatched outfits
  • Stuffed animals
  • Shoes that are worn – must be practically new and have both shoes
  • Cribs with drop-down sides
  • Used school supplies
  • Used coloring books
  • Books that are torn, ripped, written or colored in
  • Clothing or coats with fur collars
  • Colored, cloth or wire hangers – white plastic hangers only
  • Used bottle nipples
  • Used pacifiers
  • Breast pumps
  • Breastfeeding bottles
  • Expired baby food/formula
  • Open or used baby food/formula
  • Bicycles
  • outdoor toys
  • large toys
  • Broken toys
  • All baby furniture items and equipment must be less than one year old and not expired. The expiration date must be present on item.
  • ALL clothing must be clean and free of stains in addition to free of bed bugs, lice, and bodily fluids

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