Chaves County program opens up Christmas store for foster families
CHAVES COUNTY, N.M. — They open their doors once a year to children in foster care who are in need. Foster parents, volunteers, and advocates will get to shop at the Chaves County Casa Christmas Store.
“Our advocates and volunteers and foster parents can come in. Everything’s free to our families and for the kids to select exactly what the children would like,” said Carrie-Leigh Cloutier, CEO of the Chaves County CASA program.
The store has toys, stuffed animals, clothes, and everyday essentials. All of which is donated by the community.
“The whole state is in a crisis with teenagers that have very few pieces of clothing, anything they can call their own are living out of garbage bags. And so we are asking an extra plea for things for teenagers for suitcases, for coats,” said Cloutier.
There are about 200 children in foster care in Chaves County. Every CASA program in the state is doing a toy drive to keep the holiday spirit.
Cloutier says she’s seen an uptick in community support.
“I have to say people are coming out of the woodwork this year. We’re so excited. I think our community, every year, people are amazing to us,” said Cloutier. “All these groups come together to make and provide for us, it’s really very heartwarming.”
Chaves County CASA accepts donations of new and unused clothes, toiletries, and toys all year round. You can drop them off at their office.