The Wardrobe's Journey
The idea of the Wardrobe has been around since the 90's. A foster parent, Shannon Purdie Foust, created a clothing exchange between foster parents that ran out of her garage initially. This exchange project changed hands many times and at some point ended up at Region 3 of Health and Welfare's office. Les Connors and Samantha Leavitt both were folks who helped keep this project alive in various ways while it was there. Eventually, it landed in the care of One Church One Child liaisons who worked for Fostering Idaho within Health and Welfare. It stayed in the Nampa area, switching homes a few times in a few years. This is where it first became known as "The Wardrobe." An amazing, local construction company renovated it around 2017 and asked for the clothing exchange's name to be developed. The Wardrobe was then named as it is known today. By 2018, it was hiding in the back rooms of Nampa's Health and Welfare office where devoted volunteers worked to bring in hundreds of children a year to pick out a few outfits. It was spread across 4 small rooms.
A year later, the current OCOC liaison, Coral Sciscoe, was resigning and decided that The Wardrobe would thrive if it became it's own non-profit in order to successfully serve the thousand or so children drifting in and out of foster care each year. In September of 2019, The Wardrobe: Treasure Valley was officially formed.
We first opened in a garage in Caldwell in December 2019. By the following year we'd grown into one shop in Meridian and a small storefront in Greenleaf. In the short four months we were able to operate there, we served 38 youth in store by providing clothing and basic hygiene items.