My name is Kelly, and I'm the Co-Founder and President of FWCC
I was born in Austin and grew up in central Texas. I graduated from Texas State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. I've worked for several state agencies doing environmental work, and I've always considered myself a public servant at heart. I attribute my passion for public service to my father, Bobby, who was an Austin fireman for 32 years.
My husband and I got married in 2013 and we have one son. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was little and although that career path didn't pan out, I'm still an animal lover. We have 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 guinea pigs, 9 hens, and some fish. My husband is very patient with me and knows that if there's a pet that needs a home, I'll probably bring it home.
Our very first event at Kendra Scott - University Park!
What brought you to Fort Worth?
I came to Fort Worth for an amazing job opportunity. I can honestly say I have a "dream job" where I get to do what I love (environmental compliance), help people (I do disaster recovery for HUD), and have a great work-life balance. I honestly never imagined I would leave Austin, but this job has been an amazing opportunity and I'm glad I was able to take the leap.
Where did the idea for FWCC come from?
When I moved to Fort Worth, I knew I needed to connect with other moms. Let's face it, moms know everything and how else was I going to find the best pediatrician, a place to get a pedicure, and build a social network? I found a Facebook group and began attending events and connecting with other moms.
It all started when Texas seasons began to change and we'd realize that our quickly growing children no longer fit into last year's shorts or winter coats. We'd trade our newly outgrown and gently used clothing with those that may need that size. I think I've always looked for ways to help others and decided to make the seasonal clothing "swap" an event. I invited moms of the Facebook group to my home, asked them to bring clothes that didn't fit anymore, and take something that does fit.
The first event was so successful that we decided to help even more people and open it up to the community. We realized that fulfilling this one need really makes people's lives easier. I asked my partner in crime, and the founder of the Facebook group, if she wanted to make it official and become a non-profit. That is how FWCC was born.
Why should others get involved with FWCC?
We've always said we don't need to know your why, we are just happy you're here. We don't have any applications to fill out or qualifying questions. If you have a need for clothing, we are here for you. Whether providing clothing helps you to put food on the table or book your trip to Disney, we are just happy to help. Keeping clothing out of landfills and getting it to the people that need it is very rewarding. Getting involved with FWCC gives you the chance to connect with your community, help others, and help keep our planet a little cleaner.
What are your goals for FWCC in 2023?
My first goal for FWCC is to fundraise and secure funding to really get us to the next level. Since we are a new non-profit, we have very little funds. We were lucky enough to win a grant that gave us a little boost, but we have a long way to go. Being an Austin native, the live music capital of the world, I'd really like to have a fundraising concert in 2023. We have quickly outgrown our little storage unit so we need more space!
My second goal for 2023 would be to network with more community partners. Without community partners to host our pop-up shops and help spread the word about our organization, we would not succeed. We are always looking for more people to help and for a space to host a shop. Ultimately, FWCC would like to be the first stand-alone community closet in Fort Worth where people could come "shop" for free.
Any final thoughts?
This organization would be nothing without our community partners, "shoppers", and volunteers that donate clothing or their time to help sort clothes. We would love to bring our organization to other areas of the city and help more people. I'd like to personally thank everyone that has helped get us to this point because we would not be here without you. Your efforts have helped others and that is truly special. Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering at events, organizing our storage, donating clothes, or want to host a pop-up shop. Thank you!