There's no question back-to-school shopping is expensive. As thousands of Oklahoma City kids are ending their summer by heading to the mall with their parents, one local boutique is helping ease the financial burden of the back-to-school season for a handful of foster parents.
"I grew up very fortunate," said Carrie Boevers, owner of Lush Fashion Lounge in Oklahoma City. "I had everything I could have wanted going back to school and that was a fun time. But I know there are a lot of people who don't have new stuff going back to school and it's a stressful time for them."
When she saw on the news a few months ago that the stipend the Oklahoma Department of Human Services gives to foster parents for clothing was getting cut, she decided to take action.
She got in touch with Anna's House Foundation, a local nonprofit that supports foster families. She asked the staff at Anna's House to select 10 girls in foster care to receive back-to-school shopping sprees. The organization hand-picked 10 girls to receive $250 gift cards to purchase new back-to-school wardrobes at Lush.
Darci Oplotnik, the executive director of Anna's House, said she was touched by the generosity of Boevers, who reached out with the same offer last Christmas. Oplotnik sees the big hearts of local foster parents and was delighted to help ease the burden of going back-to-school shopping.
As the girls have come into the store to redeem their gift cards, Boevers said her whole staff has been excited to see how their small gesture has made a difference.
"To see them be so touched by just this small thing I can do," Boevers said, "it means a lot. I'm just glad I'm in a position to help."