OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - You may be surprised to learn, there are more than 5,00 children in Alabama's foster care system. BigHouse Foundation, a nonprofit ministry in East Alabama, works to meet the needs and improve the lives of these kids and their foster parents.
Now, BigHouse has a unique idea on how to literally take their mission on the road.
BigHouse wants to take their Kid's Closet - perhaps their biggest ministry - load it up on a cool school bus and take it to undeserved areas all over the state.
"We have a kids closet and what we do is try to stock new and gently-used clothing so foster kids and families can come and shop," explained BigHouse founder, Micah Melnick.
In 2009, Melnick and her husband founded BigHouse. Since then, the non profit has helped more than 9-thousand foster children.
"These families that are caring for them are getting a small stipend, but it really doesn't cover the cost of a raising a child," she said.
Their Kids Closet allows children of all ages to shop for whatever they want - for free.
"We want to build up their self esteem and make them feel like they are important and their community really cares about them," explained Blake Melnick.
The Melnick's worried about foster families, who could not visit their Opelika closet. So, they want to take the closet to them.
"Our new exciting venture with BigHouse is to take our clothes closet we have here and make it mobile. We want to serve kids all across Alabama that don't have resources to good, gently used or new clothing. We want to take a school bus, gut it out and create it to this mobile store that can go across Alabama and serve kids in care," she said.
BigHouse worked with AU design students to sketch out how they plan to transform a school bus into a posh and hip, mobile closet. Now, they are fundraising.
"We have $10,000 already to this project we are trying to raise $10,000 more from KickStarter an online funding platform, families can go and make a donation," she said.
Each donation is 90-percent deductible, plus you get a reward, like a decal or t-shirt. Larger donations, get your name on the bus.
"This bus is going all over the state, so if you have a logo on the back saying you support kids in foster care and are making their lives better, that's a big deal," she said.
The online KickStarter campaign ends September 4th. Keep in mind, your donation will only be cashed and used if BigHouse reaches their $10,000 goal.
The foundation has less than a month to raise another 6,000 dollars or they won't get the funding. Any amount helps. To donate people can search "BigHouse Bus" on Kickstarter, or can find a link on www.BigHouseBus.com.