INDIANAPOLIS — A local non-profit is providing free essentials for foster parents and kids in foster care. 

The Villages of Indiana offers free clothes, school supplies, toiletries and other items at their Villages shop. 

When a child is placed in foster care, it can happen with little to no notice to prepare. That can put a stressful financial burden on the families. This is meant to help relieve that. 

“It’s very important. When my kids come in here, they usually get like a duffle bag you know, and they get whatever they need,” said foster parent Mary Sizemore. She currently has four foster kids, and they are all teenagers. 

“A lot of people don’t really want to deal with the teenagers. They think that the teenagers are going to come in and cause problems, but I’ve had really good success stories with our teenagers.”

She says the Village Shop has really helped her out, and she knows it helps other foster families too. 

“I mean you’ve got foster parents who do emergency placements, and you have a kid coming through the middle of the night who has nothing and you’re able to come up here to get what you need,” said Sizemore. 

“For foster families or foster parents, they really don’t get a big stipend from the state and it’s a financial burden,” said Villages’ community engagement manager Krista Hays.

 Families are able to bring their kids in to pick out what they want. 

“Just to see the look on their face to be able to go through the racks and look at something and be like, ‘I like this,'” said Hays. 

 Sizemore says it’s a huge resource, but they could benefit from more donations of larger sizer for older kids. 

“The Villages gave all the kids coats, we had a hard time getting coats because they were mainly for the smaller youth and not our teenagers.”

Anyone interested in donating to the Villages can visit their website for more information.