JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—Bins and bins of supplies fill the garages of sisters Monique Zantop and Tia Parker. It’s what they call a foster closet, a place where children living in foster care can get everything they need to start fresh through their organization Birth Brite.
“It really gives them a self-esteem boost and a confidence boost to be able to come in here and shop,” says Founder and CEO, Monique Zantop. “So, they get to choose things they want. Some kids have never ever had the opportunity to go to the store and just say I really like this and I want this.”
Inside they can get clothing, diapers, hygiene products, books, and toys. All like new products available for free through donations.
“We want things that look good and so when kids go to school we don’t want other kids to look at them and say well we know you’re in foster care or something like that. We want them to look just like the other kids, so we don’t want to put them in things that bring them down we want to uplift them,” said COO, Tia Parker.
The sisters say the need continues to grow. This month alone they’ve served more than 60 families.
“We get calls every day. I wake up at six in the morning and there will be messages waiting for me to fulfill. Like asking do we have any car seats available, so there’s a great need,” said Zantop.
With a phone that keeps ringing there is one challenge standing in their way, trying to find enough items and space to keep up with demand.
“I find myself sorting through donations at midnight instead of you know resting, so we really need a location, so we can kind of have everything set up and not having to keep shuffling things around, said Parker.
Like the name Zantop says she hopes this place continues to be a bright spot, one that encourages more families to consider fostering a child.
“You don’t have to have a lot of money, you just have to have a lot of time and love to provide children with a safe and stable environment.”
For ways to donate or if you are a foster family in need visit the link below.