What Do You Actually Do?
Sweet Potato's Closet is a locally operated non-profit that provides everyday needs and essentials to resource/foster families and other at risk youth.
When children come into foster care, they frequently come with very little personal belongings. Children are dropped off with a moment's notice, and the foster family now needs to make sure all needs are met. Things like clothing, diapers, wipes, car seats, baby gear, backpacks, socks, underwear, and shoes are all immediate needs, and the cost adds up, especially if a family has accepted a placement of multiple children. Sweet Potato's Closet is able to provide all of those needed items so children don't have to go without, and foster families can continue helping kids!
Sweet Potato's also serves other at risk youth, working with CPS, CARE, local schools, and several other programs to keep children out of foster care in the first place when it is safe.
Clients who qualify our services can access them for free, we don't charge for anything, and we never sell anything. (Except things for fundraising!)
How it all started...
Sweet Potato's Closet, a non-profit organization, was started in June of 2020, after our teenager joined our family with very little personal items. She came with nothing, and her birthday was within a week. This was also right when Covid-19 was shutting all the businesses down, so buying her things was a challenge. She needed clothes, toiletries, things for her room, and birthday party supplies. We spent around a $1,000 very quickly, and realized that this just wasn't sustainable. We are a one income household. So we got to work on solutions. We decided we would keep some clothing on hand. After one post on Facebook, our living room was packed, and the first month's rent at a storage unit was paid for. Since then, we haven't stopped.
After two weeks we moved out of the small storage unit we had, and moved into the biggest one they had. At this time, we only had clothes, shoes, some diapers, wipes, and formula. After a couple months we had to rent the unit next to ours too. We were able to expand to accept baby gear. After a couple months in those two units, we were running out of room again. At our peak at the units, we served 60 people in a month.
In February of 2021, we were given the fantastic opportunity to use two buildings in Hermiston, Oregon. With this beautiful gift, we have been able to accept furniture and help foster families with beds. In June of 2022, we were told we had to move, at our peak there, we served 300 people a month.
Unfortunately, we had to close over the summer. We simply couldn't find a space, nor had enough funding. Over the summer, we learned how to write grants, and in August, we were so fortunate to find a space on Main Street in Hermiston. We renovated, we moved, and we reopened in November 2022!
Meet the Team
The Faces of Our Organization