Durrence's family adopted two siblings they fostered and now they are one big family ready to help others.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 18, 2022.
A mother is opening a free boutique for children after realizing foster kids have very few possessions. Linda Durrence, 51, and her family aims to provide kids in need with seven full sets of clothes and shoes for free. The boutique, Blossom, is all set to open in February 2022, but it has already started helping as many kids as it can, said Linda Durrence. Durrence confirmed that families will be able to come and get seven new sets of clothes every quarter for seasonal changes or if a child has a major size change. "We just want to be able to just be the hands and feet of Jesus," said Durrence, who hails from Georgia, reported Fox5 Atlanta.
"We just want to make a difference in our community and our surrounding communities," said Durrence, who hails from Georgia. Durrence said she got the idea following a tragic loss. She lost her elder daughter aged 27 to a car accident in December 2016. The family then moved to Glennville and were regulars at a local church where their two daughters befriended three sisters in foster care. They were living with another family that regularly attended church.
In 2018, they heard the news that the sisters were going to be separated and moved to other foster homes. Durrence's family was heartbroken on hearing the news and decided to foster the two younger girls until they could be reunited with their grandparents in Florida. The eldest girl, who was 18, signed out of foster care and decided against going with the family. It was when the two girls arrived at their home that Durrence realized they had very little things to call their own. She was filled with sadness. "The first thing that broke my heart was that they came with a trash bag that wasn’t even halfway full with clothes that didn’t fit them," Durrence recalled. All they had on them were a toothbrush of their own with a sample-size toothpaste.
The first thing Durrence did was to take them shopping so they could buy whatever they needed. As time passed, they settled in at home and the change in them was visible. "We watched them transition from a place of pure brokenness and they blossomed," said Durrence. After a few months, they were ready to go to their grandparent's place but they begged to stay at Durrence's home. Their grandparents were more than happy to know they had found a place to call home. Their older sister also lives close by to them and they've all become one big family now.
Durrence could never shake from her mind how her two daughters had little to no possession when they first came home and that's what spurred her to start Blossoms. "It just kept staying on my mind," said Durrence. She knew they were privileged enough to provide for their daughters but wondered how foster families with little resources would struggle to provide the same. Blossoms rely on donations and they have already started helping so many kids, despite not opening the shop yet. When asked about the name of the boutique, Durrence said it was named after the transformation she witnessed in her adopted daughters. "We watched them blossom and that’s where the name came from," Durrence said. "And what our hope is, is with Blossom, that it goes far beyond just kids coming to get clothes."
She is already thinking ahead and wants to open an education center that helps foster kids do well in school. "We just want other foster parents to know and foster children to know that the journey can be beautiful if everybody just pitches in and does a little bit," she said.