Project of Love: Woman opens care closet to help foster families

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- It's a Project of Love that's helping many foster care families with basic necessities at all times.

Lisa Johnson started the closet several years ago with a just a few donations. It has now grown to the size of a small retail store.

The closet, or donation center, is located at 12715 Telge Road in Cypress.

The miniature store holds thousands of items that any foster family would need in the first days or weeks of accepting a foster child into their home.

"They leave their homes sometimes with nothing," said Child Protective Services Faith-Based Liaison Ashley Smalls. "They may not be able to pack a bag of clothing or some of their belongings such as that stuffed animal that they usually hold at night."

Smalls says CPS has a similar closet with basic necessities, but it's nothing compared to what Johnson has amassed.

"There are other things that we don't have access to in our 24-hour resource room," said Smalls. "They are able to access here."

Elizabeth Haynes is a foster mom, and first used the resource last year when she took in a toddler.

"We had almost no time to prepare," said Haynes.

Shoes, socks, underwear, training pants, diapers, wipes or shampoo -- Haynes said if she needed it, she found it in the Moses' closet.

"In one word, Lisa is generous," said Haynes.

"It's very crazy, but a lot of fun," said Lisa Johnson.

Johnson gave us a tour of the facility. Each room is stocked with neatly organized bins of items. All are separated by gender, size and category.

"When they walk in, they are really overwhelmed and surprised by how much there is here," said Johnson. "It was absolutely a calling. I think it needs to be a calling for anyone who wants to do this."

Johnson said she got the idea of starting the closet after taking in 12 foster kids. She said the resources were slim in her area, so she decided to fill the void and do something about it.

At a moments notice, Haynes said she has seen Johnson reach out to her community and social media followers for specific items like beds, cribs or other furniture.

"Gives you a sense of hope that these children have somewhat of a brighter day, because some of their situations will never change," said Smalls. "Some of them will never go back home."

If you're interested in becoming a foster parent or want to know more about the process, Adoption. Why Not You? and DePelchin are great places to help navigate the process.
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