Clothing Closet

On 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 of Iowa 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 placement, or other approved placement and those adopted from foster care. You’ll get to choose from current styles for any season!

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

New Policy: Effective Jan. 1, 2020

Effective January 1, 2020, you MUST provide the following information each time you visit the Clothing Closet:

  • Your Contact Information
  • Child’s First Initial
  • Child’s Last Initial
  • Child’s Age
  • Child’s Gender
  • Child’s Medicaid ID Number
  • Caseworker Name
  • Child’s Status

If you do not have this information with you, you will not be allowed to shop. If you have any questions, please ask our office staff.

Who Qualifies for the Clothing Closet?

The Clothing Closet is 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. Effective January 1, 2020, we require the child’s initials, status, age, gender, and Medicaid ID number to shop the closet. 

When can we shop from the Clothing Closet?

Youth or their caregivers can shop the Families Helping Families of Iowa Clothing Closet once per season or as a child outgrows items. Please use reasonable discretion for how often you visit the Clothing Closet. For more information, contact our office or stop by during our business hours.

Donating to the Clothing Closet

We applaud your interest in donating to our Clothing Closet! We accept new gently used clothing donations by drop-off or by appointment. 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.

For the safety of your donations, we do not accept donations after business hours.

Donated items that cannot be used in the Clothing Closet are resold at Stuff Etc., with funds benefiting Families Helping Families of Iowa. These funds assist with utility and maintenance of our facility, as well as funding other Clothing Closet needs. Your support, no matter how large or small, makes a difference.

Want to 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 office, church, local organization, or even with your friends. We can always use diapers, wipes, new socks, new 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
  • Exersaucers / 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 of Iowa, 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:

  • All baby furniture, items, and/or equipment must be less than one (1) year old and not expired. The expiration date must be visible on the item.
  • All donated clothing must be clean and free of stains including bedbugs, lice, and bodily fluids.

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

  • Used socks and underwear (all sizes)
  • Stained, ripped or odored (smelly) or other well-loved clothing
  • Items with bugs or insect damage, including bedbugs or lice
  • Mismatched outfits
  • Stuffed animals
  • Shoes that are worn – must be practically new and have both shoes
  • Baby items that are older than one (1) year or expiration date is not available
  • 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
  • Large or outdoor toys
  • Broken toys