The new Bloom Closet location in Rome recently welcomed one of its first families in need. The staff and volunteers were eager to assist a kinship foster family, which included a grandmother raising two granddaughters, preparing for a trip to summer camp. The girls were members of 4H in Chattooga County and had raised funds throughout the school year to attend Rock Eagle Camp.

During their visit to The Bloom Closet, one of the girls spotted a pair of trendy Hoka tennis shoes and asked if she was allowed to choose that pair of shoes.

“I told her that if they fit, those shoes are yours,” said Bloom Closet Rome Program Coordinator Devon Smyth.

The teenage girl, who will be entering 8th grade, sat down on the floor and tried them on. They fit her perfectly, and she was so excited she asked if she could keep them on and wear them home. She then turned to our staff and made the statement, “Now the girls at school won’t make fun of me because I have the same brand of shoes as they do.” It moved the Bloom team to know that this was probably her first pair of shoes that she felt confident in.

After finding shoes, clothes, and other items for camp, the family noticed two pink suitcases in the general store area. When the grandmother was told she could have either one, she teared up. She shared that they had been able to raise the money for the girls to go to camp and thanks to Bloom Closet, get the clothes and toiletries needed, but she had no idea what bag the girls would use to pack all of their items. She was thrilled to have a new suitcase for the girls and touched by the generosity of the Bloom Closet.

“I was so happy we were able to serve this family and it made me realize that we will be walking alongside many families with all sorts of needs and stories here in Rome,” said Smyth.

This family made a lasting impression on Bloom staff, highlighting the joy of helping foster children in need and supporting meaningful experiences—like a trip to camp.

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