Local News

Teen Closet gives kids in foster care a chance to feel "more normal"

Teen Closet gives kids in foster care...

SPOKANE, Wash. - On November 9, the KXLY 4 Extreme Team will unveil the finished results of its latest project- a new home in downtown Spokane for Teen Closet.

The nonprofit, created in part by KXLY 4's Robyn Nance, serves children in need in the Eastern Washington and North Idaho communities, particularly children in foster care programs. 

Its shelves are stocked by donations from the community, and volunteers help unload, organize and prepare those donations so that kids who are referred to Teen Closet can peruse the racks and choose the clothes they want to take home. 

“You get to unload and organize clothes and put them in the right bin and hang them up. It's really fun, I like it, said Claire Lavoie. 

Claire, Ayressa Lavoie and Jainee Weidemann are all volunteers at Teen Closet. They're young, and the work needed at the nonprofit might seem like a chore to other kids their ages. But, these girls say tits fun. 

“Donations come in and we help,  me and Claire and Jainee help them,” Ayressa said. 

“I guess it kind of lets them feel more normal sometimes. Like, when you go into foster care it feels weird,” Weidemann said. 

That's the purpose behind Teen Closet- to give kids in foster care a chance to make their own choices. That's a feeling that these three volunteers are familiar with- Claire, Ayressa and Jainee all used to be in the foster care system.  

Now, they're adopted, and working to help other children and teens find comfort in the same place they once did. 

“You don't have to worry about dirty clothes and wearing them everyday to school and just having all the clean clothes and stuff,” Claire said. 

“It's kind of a help to make them feel more stable,” Weidemann said. “The first step at a connection back to normalcy and feeling like a kid again,” she said. 

As for the Extreme Team's plans, which will allow Teen Closet to combine with Clothing Perk (a similar service for younger kids), volunteers are hopeful.

“I think it's just a good opportunity for everyone. It's just bigger and better and we can serve more people, more efficiently,” Weidemann said. 

Claire Lavoie agreed. 

“I think it's gonna be awesome,” she said. 

Teen Closet is currently located in the Village Square Plaza of Spokane Valley. Their new location will be in the 300 block of Sprague, in downtown Spokane.