Foster Closet of Washtenaw County gets renovation after winning Ikea contest

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-20 17:37:33-04

Rachel Siggens’ basement is going through a major transformation to become the new and improved Foster Closet of Washtenaw County.

It will be a place where foster kids can get everything they need from body wash to clothes.

The Foster Closet of Washtenaw County won $10,000 in renovations in an online contest by Ikea, called the Life Improvement Challenge.

“I was esctatic i called my sister and i was like really?  We did it,” said Siggens.

“When we heard about foster closet and we heard about some of the challenges they had and organizing all of their donations,” said Amanda Preston, marketing director at Ikea. “You know we thought this is a really good
project.  We could really do something great here."

Foster kids and parents will soon get a chance to shop as if they are in a store at the newly renovated spot.
The children will be able to stock up on all the free goods they need.

“I think it will bring back an amount of dignity back to their lives,” said Siggens. “Give them a little bit of self respect to lives to have them come in and not have to sort through things. To be able to have everything beautifully lined up on shelves and hung up according to size.”

“We sat down and and talked with them, talked about their challenges, talked about their needs with one of our in-house designers and then we created a plan to really make the closet feel like a store so when the kids come in they really feel like they are shopping,” said Preston.

The Foster Closet of Washtenaw County helps about 50 children a month.

Rachel and other volunteers say they are grateful for Ikea’s donation because the non-profit organization relies heavily on donations of clothing and other essentials from the community.

“It is so needed often kids enter care with nothing more than what they have on or a garbage bag full of clothes. so they are able to come in and get everything and anything that they need,” said Siggens.  “We never charge them for anything.  Everything is free of charge and donated from the community.”

The shop is expected to be up and running by Saturday.

If you would like to donate to the Foster Closet of Washtenaw County you can call 1-800-554-4966 ext 208 or you can message Rachel here