TOP PHOTO: The South Campbell County Rotary Club has a new billboard up along the four lane in Jacksboro to celebrate its upcoming 50th anniversary.
By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Pam Winter from the Compassion Closet was the guest speaker at Tuesday’s South Campbell County Rotary Club meeting held at the La Follette United Methodist Church.
Winter is the director of the Campbell County branch of the non-profit aimed at helping foster parents and children. The location at 604 West Central Avenue opened a year ago in September and is next to the old Corner Market in La Follette.
Winter spoke about Compassion Closet and how it serves the East Tennessee area helping foster families with clothing and hygiene needs and much more.
The Compassion Closet exists to show the love of Christ by providing quality clothing and tangible goods to children in foster care and their families.
According to Winter, her passion is working with foster kids, and it was through fostering that she became involved with Compassion Closet and helped get the non-profit a location in Campbell County to serve foster parents and foster children.
“The stipend from the state given to foster parents doesn’t go very far; sometimes these children come with nothing, especially with sudden placements or if multiple children go to one home,” Winter said.
The program is not intended to be everything a foster parent needs, but to help “fill in the gaps.”
“We also serve kinship families such as grandparents and aunts and uncles who have children placed with them. Those families don’t often get stipends from the state, and we want to help everybody but especially those who are not receiving assistance from the state,” Winter said.
Compassion Closet also works with adoptive families and youth that are aging out of foster care, as well as youth in residential facilities.
“We provide clothes from infant to adult, car seats, baby gear, strollers, toddler beds, bunk beds, school supplies, books, games, toys, hygiene items and more,” Winter said.
Compassion Closet accepts used clothing if it’s in good shape. They also accept used toys in good shape, but not stuffed animals; those have to be purchased new.
Things not used by Compassion Closet go to the Hope Center.
“I have a vision and want to help the community with foster care support and prayer support. I started a support group, initially just to get people to come to the Closet. It started with a mom support group in May. Support groups are an important part of ministry to stay connected with others who get the ins and outs of caring for someone else’s child,” Winter said.
Compassion Closet has a list ofsome of its most needed donation items on its website.
The non-profit also has barrels for donation drives which can be placed at local businesses and organizations.
New underwear, diapers, wipes, new socks and pajama are always needed.
Compassion Closet is located next to the Old Corner Market by Martin Wilson Funeral Home. There is a box out front for clothing
People can also donate online. Put Campbell County location on the donation so funds are allocated properly. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/07/2022-6AM)