LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. — Retired lawman George Agovino spent his life helping people, including in the FBI and as a police officer in Clearwater.
His pledge to protect took on a whole new meaning two years ago when he became a foster parent.
“Our first child, we were licensed at 11 o’clock and got our first call at 11:20,” said Agovino.
George and his wife had nothing that first time. But neighbors and friends chipped in with supplies.
He never forgot their kindness.
“That’s what started this,” Agovino says.
“This” is Fostering Change Foster Closet, a new Land O' Lakes nonprofit that will help foster children and their new families with cost-free supplies, comfort and more.
From diapers and toys for infants to teen clothing and toiletries, the Foster Closet will be a donation-based blessing for children and foster parents making that tough transition.
“The kids we’ve taken in, they came to our door with nothing but a garbage bag,” Agovino says of his time as a foster parent. “The last kid had an Aldi’s bag.”
George will run the Foster Closet with his business partner Josh Gaulden, with whom he runs another business, All in 1 Mobile Garage, which will help fund the nonprofit.
“He has a big heart,” says Gaulden.
“I just want to make a difference,” says Agovino.
The Land O' Lakes community has rallied around the Foster Closet.
The building at 10207 Land O’ Lakes Blvd was donated. It was in rough shape, so Ken Phillips of 1st Choice Roofing replaced the roof for free.
Other local companies, including Coastal Tile, Meares Plumbing and Ain’t Gonna Fix Itself construction, also donated services.
With everyone working together, the Fostering Change Foster Closet will have its grand opening on December 14.
Donations are needed, everything from toiletries to toys to clothes and mattresses.
To help, click here.