ARIZONA NEWS

Foster Alliance needs clothes, shoes and toys for Arizona boys

May 29, 2024, 4:15 AM

Clothes, shoes, toys for Arizona boys in foster care needed, Foster Alliance in Phoenix says...

The state's largest provider of essential needs for children in foster care needs donations for toddlers. (The Foster Alliance photos)

(The Foster Alliance photos)

PHOENIX — Young boys in Arizona’s foster system urgently need clothes, toys and shoes, according to the state’s largest provider of essential needs for children in foster care.

Around 9,000 children are currently in the system, according to Bethany Eggleston with Foster Alliance.

There are no clothes for male toddlers in the nonprofit’s Phoenix programs, she told KTAR News 92.3 FM last week.

“We are completely out of clothing for toddler boys. Literally, if you walked out there and saw the shelf with me, it is empty,” Eggleston said.

Furthermore, the clothes they do have — which are for young girls — are all for winter.

“It’s like hoodies and like fleece pants, which are just not appropriate for right now,” Eggleston said. “We really, really need clothing for these toddlers.”

Why does Foster Alliance want Valley residents to donate clothes?

Most of the children entering foster care this year are aged 5 and under, she said.

Since kids are always growing, they always need new clothes, she added.

“We are in the space now where we are collecting clothes, shoes, socks and underwear, because those are all going to go on a mobile unit that’s going to tour this state later next month,” Eggleston said.

That mobile unit will distribute necessities to Arizona families with foster children around late June or early July, she added.

They picked that time because they want to give children new clothes before the school year starts.

“For these particular programs, we really are only giving children new things because they really need that extra boost of confidence,” Eggleston said.

The confidence that comes from new clothes can help kids feel better on the first day of school, she said.

“They feel not like a foster kid that day. They can feel like them, and there’s nothing that helps you do that more than wearing an awesome outfit that makes you feel good,” Eggleston said.

In addition to clothes and shoes, Foster Alliance is also running low on toys for Valley children. Blocks, soft plushies and walking toys are all good, she added.

How to help foster children in Arizona

One way to help foster children is to buy items on the nonprofit’s Amazon wish lists.

“You can also donate financially online or, if you are a shopper, go shop at Costco, Walmart, wherever you like to shop, and then come by and see us any day, Monday through Friday, between 9 and 5,” Eggleston said. “We are at the intersection of 32nd and Thunderbird.”

Those in-person donations can be dropped off at 3110 E. Thunderbird Rd., Suite 100 in Phoenix. Visitors can drive around to the back of the building, where a volunteer will accept their items.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Heidi Hommel contributed to this report.

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Foster Alliance needs clothes, shoes and toys for Arizona boys