NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WYTV) – It takes a special kind of person to be a foster parent, which is something that this week’s Hometown Hero from North Lima knows all about.
Nicole Tsarnas, who is a foster parent herself, runs Mina’s Foster Closet in the old South Range Elementary School building on South Avenue.
Everything at the resource closet is free. Foster parents get some stipend for the children, but it is usually not enough. Tsarnas said every bit helps.
“My husband and I are licensed foster parents, and we know the need that’s out there and we also know how hard it can be to be a foster family,” she said.
Jennifer Kollar with Mahoning County Children Services said there is definitely a need for a place like this.
“It’s not a resource that we’ve ever had before. It’s available to the families and the youth that we serve in the county, so this is a tremendous new community resource,” Kollar said.
Children eventually grow out of the foster system, but Tsarnas is still there to help them.
“We’re able to provide them with household items — microwaves, vacuums, dish sets, glasses, all those kinds of things that they need. Sometimes they’ll come to me with a wish list and we’ll say, ‘Okay, let’s see if we can find these items for you,'” she said.
Tsarnas once fostered a little girl named Mina, giving her inspiration for the name of the closet.
For more information on how to donate, visit minasfostercloset.com.