Carol Ouimette and her husband Dale are empty nesters now and like to give back to the community of San Luis Obispo County.
Carol Ouimette and her husband Dale are empty nesters now and like to give back to the community of San Luis Obispo County.

Empty-nester Shares Her Extra Time and creativity With Foster Youth in San Luis Obispo County

Author: Social Services
Date: 4/2/2019 11:11:13 AM

Sharing Time with Foster Youth in San Luis Obispo County


Young foster youth have some extra Spring sparkle in their eyes thanks to the new colorful outfits they have received from a creative and generous donor. Carol Ouimette and her husband moved full-time to San Luis Obispo County in 2016 from the Bay Area, and, as empty nesters, were looking for ways to give back to their new community.   Carol always loved to sew, finding great relaxation and joy in it.   She found herself with all kinds of leftover supplies from projects, including fabrics, trims and buttons and came up with an idea.     She started using them all to create colorful and unique outfits for kids.    

"Kids clothes are fun and allow for creativity that adult clothes typically don’t.” Said Carol.

As she got going making kids clothes, people saw what she was making and pitched in toward her efforts. A close friend’s sister in law was cleaning out her fabric stash and gave it Carol.  Friends and acquaintances started to bring her their extra fabrics, trims, buttons also.  

"It is such fun piecing things together with the variety of supplies I have.  I usually can put anything I’m given to use.  The clothing I make varies is size depending on how much fabric I have.  They have ranged from newborn thru size 7.” Explained Carol.

As her production increased, she started looking for non-profit organizations that might be able to put the clothes to good use.  She says she found several who would take them as donations and would sell them in their yard sales and use the cash but that wasn’t what Carol was looking for.   She wanted her handmade items to go directly to a child.  She knew there were many children in need who never get new items, and that’s how she wanted her creations used.   So she reached out to the Department of Social Services looking for suggestions of places she could donate the clothes. She connected with DSS employee Maria Clements who assured her there were plenty of infants and children in the foster care program who her team could make sure received the clothes.   

"The colors and patterns are really so much more beautiful than anything off of a shelf, and it moves me to know how the esteem of the children we serve will be boosted by wearing outfits she created.” Said Christopher Monza, Division Manager at the Department of Social Services.   

"I wanted them to feel and be as special as every child should.” Says Carol, who plans to continue making the unique outfits.    "Everyone has unique abilities and it doesn't always take a lot of funds to share them in a way that can bring happiness to someone."