BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - In the middle of the fight for her life against ovarian cancer, Kelli Richmond saw a need. Cancer treatment often transforms a patient’s body, but not everyone can afford to buy new clothes as their weight goes up and down. That’s why Kelli dreamed up a place where women fighting cancer could get new clothes for free.
In 2014, two years after Kelli lost her battle, her family opened the doors to Kelli’s Kloset. In the years since, the Kloset has outgrown two locations and expanded with a bus to bring clothes directly to patients at local hospitals.
The Kloset just moved into a new location on Florida Boulevard near Sherwood Forest. "It’s unreal. I think every day what Kelli must be thinking, but we’re proud," said Kelli’s dad, Ron Richmond.
The journey wasn’t always easy. Kelli’s dad says twice, he almost gave up on the Kloset those first few years when money was tight, but each time he lost hope, he says he felt Kelli pushing him along.
It wasn’t long before the community’s generosity caught up, filling shelves and racks with donated clothing. Now, Richmond is hopeful the community will again rally around a new mission to help kids of cancer patients. “Over the last four years, we’ve just noticed a lot of our patients that come in, they’re single mothers. Some of them have two or three kids,” said Richmond.
Richmond noticed that often, the kids need new clothes as badly as their mother. Kelli’s Kloset will now also provide free clothing for the children of cancer patients as well as any kids fighting cancer themselves.
That means the Kloset needs donations of all types of kid’s clothes, including uniforms. Donations can be dropped off Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the new location at 11240 Florida Blvd.
Kelli’s Kloset is also part of a foundation that provides a birthday wish of $1,000 to an ovarian cancer patient each month. Find more on the foundation and the Kloset here.