Shelly and Kia were featured during Family Night in the Clothing Closet, a clothes and resource sharing program Shelly started at the Inukai Family Club.
THE CARTER FAMILY
Shelly & Kia
5 kids, 3 Club members
Inukai FamilyBoys & Girls Club
Involved since 2012
Shelly: I am officially a volunteer but before that I would come in and try to be a helping hand. My kids have really evolved here. Everyone has interactions with my kids, so everyone knows them.
How has the Club impacted you?
Shelly: Whatever we need, they were able direct us to the right place. Or there on the spot to give us what we needed.
Kia: Great Resources.
Shelly: Great support, great people. It’s amazing. They help with Christmas when we didn’t have anything. They helped me through school like when I didn’t have anyone to watch the kids.
How did you get involved in the Club?
Shelly: I started the kids at Boys & Girls Club when I had to go through a drug treatment program. I wasn’t able to be successful in there because I couldn’t find childcare. So I came into the Boys and Girls Club broken. They’re very support, they help with the kids when I couldn’t do much, or they help to sit there and listen. Which was really good at the time when I was recently separated because it was really hard being a single mom. I just felt like my kids were safe and my children wouldn’t be bullied here. There was no judgement. I was going through a lot o stuff last year and they were…
Kia: They were very supportive of our family. It just seemed like they came with open arms to us and our kids coming here. Which is nice because you want to have that comfort when you’re leaving your child somewhere. Especially when you’re so used to watching them all the time 24/7. Putting them in someone else’s hands is kind of nerve wracking.
How has it impacted your kids?
Shelly: Since they’ve been here they’ve grown a lot. They have a lot of friends. That’s all they talk about when they get home.
Kia: They love the staff here as well. They know the staff by name. And the staff know the kids by name. Every day.
Shelly: They have made it a priority to find out what will set him up for success. But they didn’t give up. They kept putting bowls in front of him and having us involved.
How has the Club impacted you?
Shelly: Last month, I graduated from PCC and now I’m a certified physician’s assistant. Boys & Girls Club allowed me to go 8 hours of school, downtown Portland, every day and I was able to have faith that my kids would be okay, I wouldn’t get called to pick up my kid and have to miss school. I was able to do that only because I had somewhere for my kids to go after school. So if it wasn’t for them, probably none of that stuff would have got done.
So you started the Clothing Closet. Can you talk a bit about that?
Shelly: It’s awesome. It started with me and my big mouth. I opened up and was like “I have all this stuff at the house that the kids can’t fit.” And I was like “aw Boys & Girls Club!” It was no second thought. So I went onto Facebook and asked people for donations and I asked multiple groups.
It feels good to be able to give back to them because they’ve done so much for our family.
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