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FosterWear program helping Alaska foster youth obtain quality clothing

This program is available to help Alaska foster children and youth obtain quality clothing. REI was the first participant in discount clothing plan for foster youth. The effort, which draws on retailers to offer clothing discounts to foster families, has now gone statewide and there are businesses participating across Alaska.

Amanda Metivier, a graduate of Alaska’s foster care system, began raising public awareness concerning one of the many problems faced by foster youth — that they often don’t have the money needed for basic clothing. Over the last year, Metivier joined forces with Rep. Les Gara and the state Office of Children’s Services to find a solution. “Foster youth face a lot of challenges, and it doesn’t help when they stand out among their peers in used or inadequate clothing,” said Metivier, statewide coordinator for Alaska’s foster care advocacy group, Facing Foster Care in Alaska (FFCA).

Under the program’s plan, licensed foster families and unlicensed relative caregivers working with OCS are offered clothing discounts at participating stores. REI helped design the plan, and was the first store to sign on.“It is REI’s sincere hope that other retailers will join us in supporting the foster youth of our communities by helping them secure quality clothing adequate for the unique challenges of our Alaskan lifestyle,” said Mike Herzog with REI.

Over the coming months the state will ask other Alaska stores to join in the program, which suggests a 25 percent discount on clothing items. The percentage discounted is up to individual retailers. “REI, the Department of Health and Social Services and Governor’s Office have been enthusiastic supporters of this effort, which we hope will make a difference in the lives of Alaska’s foster youth,” Gara said.

If you are a local business and would like to participate by providing a discount to foster parents and youth in care, please contact us for more information.

For more information:

Participating Business: (see PDF for more details on each businesses program)

  • Army Navy Surplus
  • REI
  • REI (Fairbanks)
  • The Prospector (Fairbanks, Valdez, web orders)
  • Nugget Outfitter (Juneau)
  • Homer's Jeans
  • Omni Enterprises
  • Alaska Commercial Company
  • Beaver Sports
  • Redden Marine
  • Ulmer's Drug & Hardware (Homer)
  • Sixth Ave. Outfitters (Anchorage)
  • Omni Enterprises, Inc. (Bethel)
  • Omni Enterprises, Inc. (Dillingham)
  • AC Stores (Statewide/Retail)
  • N & N Market (Dillingham)
  • Murray Pacific (Sitka)
  • The Baby Store Toys and More (Wasilla)