MARSHFIELD – Children entering foster care have many needs. They often have nothing but the clothing on their backs having left behind their favorite stuffed animals, pets and loved ones. Equally important, they’ve left behind their dignity and security. That’s why the work of the Wisconsin Foster Closet – an organization dedicated to meeting children’s needs as they enter the foster care system – is so important.
Located in Menomonie, the Wisconsin Foster Closet’s important work is also why Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., awarded $1,000 to the organization. This award is part of Security Health Plan’s Employee-Driven Corporate Giving program, which provides financial support to different charities or organizations that Security Health Plan/Marshfield Clinic Health System employees nominate for consideration.
Megan Cummings, a nurse in the Emergency Department at Marshfield Medical Center-Eau Claire, nominated the Wisconsin Foster Closet. “This specific organization is important to me because I can see the impact they have on our community,” Cummings said.
The Wisconsin Foster Closet offers the children welcome bags filled with necessities based on the child’s age, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, diapers, blankets, etc. It also offers new or gently used clothing.
However, to Cummings, the Wisconsin Foster Closet provides so much more. “The founders and staff that run the organization don’t just provide something as simple as a shirt or car seat. They provide resources and support from a community of like-minded people passionate about rebuilding the self-esteem of our local youth – and they do it in a way that offers respect and humanity to those receiving the support,” said Cummings.
Serving children and young adults in the foster care system throughout Wisconsin, with a focus on the Chippewa Valley and surrounding counties, the Wisconsin Foster Closet relies 100% on donations from the community.
“Donations from organizations such as Security Health Plan are invaluable,” said Jessica Hansen, director of the Wisconsin Foster Closet. “Our needs are ongoing and change with the seasons. But our commitment is steadfast to those children who may have been removed from everything familiar, or who have nothing of their own,” Hansen added.
Similar to the Wisconsin Foster Closet, the mission, vision and values of both Security Health Plan and Marshfield Clinic Health System focus on serving the community. This program is a fantastic example of partnering to enrich the lives of the people in the greater Chippewa Valley community and across Wisconsin.
For more information about the Wisconsin Foster Closet, visit the organization’s website at https://www.wifostercloset.org.