SHELDON—Maggie Lloyd has a helping heart.
She also has a passion for children.
The rural Sheldon resident’s two pursuits have collided with a new endeavor centered around supplying foster and adoptive families with necessities is set to open in Sheldon.
Kadens Kloset: Sheldon began operating out of the white house at 811 Fifth Ave., just south of Sheldon United Methodist Church, on Monday, March 13.
“It is just a way to bless the families that have opened their hearts and their homes to kids in need,” said Lloyd, who is operating the new endeavor along with a core group of volunteers.
She became aware of Kadens Kloset from her high school best friend, Tina Vande Hoef. The pair graduated from Sibley-Ocheyedan High School in Sibley in 2006.
“She and her husband became foster parents, and they have been blessed to adopt three kids,” Lloyd said. “She opened one of these in Okoboji, so she has been my inspiration through all of this, and she’s really opened my eyes to realize what’s really out there.”
Kadens Kloset: Okoboji opened in October and has served more than 50 children.
Kadens Kloset was initiated by Kristle Davis. The offering is housed in a church near Holland in rural Grundy County.
“She was in foster care when she was young, and she went from home to home,” Lloyd said.
Davis and her husband went on to become foster parents.
“They were expecting a toddler-aged child, and they got a call for a baby, so they didn’t have anything,” Lloyd said, noting the couple named the infant Kaden.
Davis realized many families have found themselves in similar situations with an immediate need for essential items due to a new placement or a sudden family change.
As a result, she opened Kadens Kloset in March 2016.
In addition to locations in Holland and Okoboji, Sheldon’s Kadens Kloset will join six others throughout the state: Ankeny, Cedar Falls, Humboldt, Manson, Newell and Waterloo.
Kadens Kloset: Sheldon is seeking donations for infants, babies, toddlers and children up to the age of 18. Monetary donations also will be accepted, and checks can be made out to the Sheldon United Methodist Church with Kadens Kloset in the memo line.
Lloyd is joined by a core team of volunteers, including her husband, Tyler; her mother-in-law, Sandy Buffington-Lloyd; Brennan and Rachel Granstra and Dennis and Lesa Kruger, all of Sheldon.
“Obviously, people can contact anyone, because the biggest thing is that it’s not just my thing,” she said. “I want to embrace everyone who wants to help out in any way.”
And although the offering is housed near the church, Lloyd hopes more than church members will become involved, especially as Kadens Kloset: Sheldon will serve a 60-mile radius.
“I want it to be a community effort,” she said. “I want people to be aware of what is going on right in front of us. I don’t think people realize how many kids in our area are taken out of their homes each year.”
According to 2015 statistics for O’Brien and Sioux counties, Lloyd said there were 54 foster homes, and 27 children were removed from their birth homes and put into foster care.
“That does not include kids already in the foster care system that were removed in years previous,” she said.
The vision for Kadens Kloset: Sheldon is two-fold.
Lloyd said the goal is to supply material and necessity items while also giving the strength and courage to families to participate in adoption and foster care.
“I understand that it’s not for everybody,” she said. “Everybody’s situation is different, but if this is the way that they can help, whether it’s through prayers or donations or coming together to help organize, we want it to be a community effort and for everybody to stand up and find one way to help.”
Even though it has not officially opened, Kadens Kloset: Sheldon already has helped a handful of children.
Leading up to the organization’s launch, donations can either be dropped off at the Sheldon United Methodist Church, or Lloyd or one of the other volunteers can arrange to pick up the items.
“We’ll do whatever we can to get donations,” she said.
Once Kadens Kloset: Sheldon is open, foster and adoptive families can set up appointments to come browse available inventory.
“It’s not just for first-night placements, either; they can keep coming back and shopping the closet,” Lloyd said. “We don’t want people who want to be foster parents to not do it because of financial reasons. If they have the heart to do it, we want to be the extra support for them.”
She hopes the organization develops into one big family.
“Once we’ve helped kids, we just want to be a source that families can rely on, and we want to put smiles on these kids’ faces,” Lloyd said.
FOR MORE INFO:
To learn more about Kadens Kloset: Sheldon, or if you are interested in volunteering, contact Maggie Lloyd of rural Sheldon at 712-301-0047 or email@example.com. To learn more about Kadens Kloset in general, visit www.kadenskloset.com or search for the organization on Facebook.
Kadens Kloset: Sheldon is seeking donations not limited to the following:
Baby and infant:
- High chairs;
- Car seats, preferably new;
- Cribs/toddler beds;
- Crib bedding;
- Baby monitors;
- Diaper bags;
- Toiletry and bath items;
- Clothing of all sizes.
- Clothing of all sizes and seasons;
- Bedding of all sizes;
- New pillows/sheet sets;
- New blankets;
- School supplies (seasonally);
- Juniors and young adult clothing.