AUSTIN, Texas — A lot of times when a child is removed from their home and placed into Texas foster care, they leave with nothing but the clothes on their back.
As Marcus Cantu with Partnerships for Children explained, that's where the Rainbow Room comes in. The Rainbow Room is the first stop a caseworker makes after being assigned to a child that has newly entered into the foster care system.
Cantu has been running the Rainbow Room for the last 10 years. He said it's about giving children a sense of dignity, making sure they have enough clean clothes and supplies to get through each school week.
PHOTOS | Forever Families: Inside the 'Rainbow Room'
"Kids at school can be cruel sometimes, and it's something we take for granted, being able to wake up and pick out an outfit," Cantu said. "Some of these kids don't know when they will have clean clothes."
The Rainbow Room is stocked with everything from clothes and toys to backpacks and books. But lately, Cantu said staff has been struggling to keep the room as stocked as they normally do.
"We serve lots and lots of infants and toddlers. We go through 4,000 diapers a month. The Similac formula has been an issue [because] there was a recall. The ongoing supply chain issues are also impacting us here in the Rainbow Room," Cantu said.
Every month, Cantu sends out a newsletter to whoever wants it, highlighting what the Rainbow Room is short on for that month. For the month of May, the room is in need of Similac baby formula, hairbrushes and shorts for boys.
The Rainbow Room also has an Amazon wishlist full of needs.
To be added to the newsletter mailing list or to inquire about volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
KVUE launched the Forever Families segment with Partnerships for Children (PFC) in June 2020 to highlight children in the Heart Gallery of Central Texas who need secure and permanent families. Every day, there are nearly 1,000 children waiting to get adopted in Central Texas, according to PFC.
Editor's note: The children who are in the Heart Gallery program and featured in KVUE's Forever Families segments are children who have had every effort made on their behalf to connect them with family or others in their community to provide options for permanent, adoptive homes. Through no fault of their own, that hasn’t happened yet, and so in partnership with the Department of Family and Protective Services, we collaborate to bring awareness to KVUE viewers about these children in the hopes of finding them permanency before they age out.
MORE FOREVER FAMILIES STORIES: