When we became foster parents 16 years ago, we had little to no support. But, we knew God had called us to foster. We live in Spartanburg County, which currently has more kids in foster care than any other county in South Carolina. When we began, we were disheartened by the lack of attention given to foster care and the lack of support for foster care parents.
Recognizing a need, we began P.S. I Love You Ministries. It started as a church ministry where we provided childcare for monthly foster care meetings.
In addition, we wanted to be a resource for other families serving as foster parents drawing upon our knowledge and experience to answer their questions. We didn’t want foster families to feel alone. We also began making care bags for children entering the foster care system. As foster parents, we saw firsthand how many children enter foster care with few (if any) belongings of their own. We decided to give the children a pillow with their name embroidered on it, so they would have something that was theirs to keep. We also provided them with basic hygiene items, a Bible, and a toy or a blanket. In 2012, we gained nonprofit status, allowing us to partner with even more people in our community. Since then, we have had numerous groups donate items for the care bags.
People began to see the needs that extend beyond the care bags and started donating clothing. In October 2016, we officially opened our resource center that houses the P.S. I Love You Clothing Closet. The clothing is in great condition and has been donated to us so we can help new foster families get some of the essential clothing items the children will need.
We know that not everyone is called to foster, but everyone can do something. Gaining nonprofit status and opening the Clothing Closet helped raise awareness to the needs of the foster care system in our area. When people drop off clothing, they learn about what we do and why we do it. It’s a great opportunity to share our faith with others.