As Foster Closet Expands, Founder Opens Business to Support

A local organization that helps meet foster kids’ needs just keeps growing — and a new local business is supporting it.

The Foster Closet of Michigan supplies clothing and emergency needs to foster parents and kids.

As the foster closet keeps growing, the founder is gathering community partners — starting a business to help pay the closet bills.

“The Foster closet started in my garage here in Mount Pleasant, Michigan,” said Foster Closet of Michigan of Isabella County Branch Manager Holly Hansen-Watson.

Now it’s in a building on Pine Street.

Holly Hansen-Watson the founder of foster closet created a new business called carousel corn to help with the closets costs.

“I did do that with the intention of holding at least one fundraiser a month to help pay for that extra expense. Rent is our only true expense. No one in our organization gets paid and everyone donates all of our products.”

Carousel Corn sells gourmet popcorn and whenever the popcorn store’s open, foster parents and kids can come get free items they may need, like shoes and clothes.

“Most closets are only open a few hours in the week. Ours is open, I haven’t added it up, but over 40.”

The foster closet doesn’t just have one or two rooms, but now has five rooms since it first started two and a half years ago.

“Each child can choose as many items as they want. The only thing we limit is the new socks and new underwear.”

CMU students are volunteering twice a week at the closet and fundraising this semester for an honors class.

Once serving about 20 kids a month, they’re now serving 50.

“The foster closet brings something to Isabella County that hasn’t been done elsewhere,” said CMU’s Honors 300 Lead Teacher’s Assistant. “So it kind of fills that gap for something we need in our community that wasn’t being done by anyone else.”

There will be a fundraiser for the closet this Saturday.

To contact the closet, call Holly at 989-339-1397.