New local business helps foster families - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

New local business helps foster families

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A storefront in Carbondale is using it's business as a way to help foster families in southern Illinois. 

The resale shop and resource center is a first in the region for families caring for a foster child. 

Christine and Les O'Dell have fostered more than 10 kids. They have two biological children in their 20's and recently have adopted two young boys. 

"We have been foster parents for nine years and we recognize that we are probably nearing the end of our journey as actually foster parents," Christine said. 

The O'Dells are thinking of closing that chapter of their life but have recently started a new one.

"We wanted to find a way to get involved and recruit other foster parents and to give back to foster families," Christine said. 

The O'Dells are the founders of Two Bugs and A Bean, a children's resale boutique in the Murdale Shopping Center in Carbondale that opened in early December. 

In the backroom of the storefront is a resource center for families caring for foster children. 

"Unfortunately foster parents come up short with things they need like diapers, bedding, school supplies and other things," Christine said. 

Christine said sometimes foster parents will get a call 24 hours before a child is placed in their home, not leaving much time to shop and prepare.

"That's why we wanted to start the resource center so people could come and get the things that they need," Christine said. 

Owning a resale shop wasn't the dream for the O'Dells, opening the resource center was. 

The couple had to figure out how to pay for necessary items like diapers, soap, wipes and blankets. 

"Our resale shop is funding our resource center," Christine said. "So we mostly depend on the generosity of others," Christine said. 

The resale shop helps families afford higher-end clothes by offering them at a lower cost. 

Christine said this mission is something everyone in southern Illinois can support. 

"The best way is to bring donations and shop at our resale shop and  to bring donations in for the resource center," Christine said. 

The O'Dells said they're needing donations of diapers, shoes, socks, brand new bedding and underwear. 

"Anything that a kid needs, anything that your own child needs, we are going to need to pass along to people taking care of these kids," Christine said. 

Two Bugs and A Bean is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Saturday's from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Click here to visit their Facebook page.

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