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Carbondale Not-For-Profit Business Provides Foster Parents With Supplies

In Illinois over 16,00 thousand children are in foster care.

Occasionally foster families are given less than a day’s notice of their new arrival.

There’s a locally owned business that wants to help.

Over the last decade Les and Christine O’Dell have fostered about a dozen kids and adopted three of them.

Once they became licensed, they were not expecting to have a foster child one week later.

“Like most fosters we had to go out and buy a lot of stuff, he needed a bed, he needed some clothes he came with very few belongings.”

Foster Family Resource Center in Carbondale
Credit Benjy Jeffords / WSIU
Foster Family Resource Center in Carbondale

Knowing the struggles that foster parents face, they opened the not-for-profit Foster Family Resource Center in Carbondale almost a year ago.

“Foster parents get some reimbursement from the state, but that takes a while, and so we’re here in that interim to meet their needs.”

They want to fill the gaps they’ve personally had to fill in the past by providing the essentials like diapers, formula, clothing, bedding, toys and much more to foster parents free of charge.

To keep providing these items, they need funding.

“One of the ways we fund that is through the Two Bugs and a Bean resale shop, where we sell items that are gently loved and use those proceeds to help us take care of our mission.”

Every donation and retail sale will help provide the vital components through their transition.

“We got to love those kids as long as they’re with us and one of the ways we do that is by providing them with the things they need.”

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