For Lisa Borden, “The Hanger” is so much more than a clothing store for foster teens. Having been a key player in the project since the get-go back in 2013, she knows it’s also about confidence, expression, safety, acceptance, and the elimination of barriers.
“These kids are all so unique and they truly have so much to contribute to this world,” Lisa explained about her passion for working with teens at The Hanger. “Helping them unlock their gifts to share with others, pull together incredible looks for themselves and fellow shoppers, or develop a skill or passion they didn’t know they had… these are the things that keep me coming back!”
The Hanger is a store in CASA’s office which gives children ages 12-21 living in out-of-home placement the opportunity to shop for free clothing, accessories, and personal items. It also offers job opportunities to build their resumes, and life skills classes to prepare them for the transition to adulthood when they reach 18 and age out of foster care.
Lisa remembers reading a news article about The Hanger back when it was founded in 2013. She had known the founder, Jane Hegstrom, as the CASA on the very first case she worked as a social worker for The Office of The Guardian ad Litem.
“I knew I wanted to be a part of The Hanger and I knew I wanted to work with Jane again,” she said. “At that time, I also owned a women’s boutique in Colorado Springs and The Hanger was a way to combine my social work background with my desire to help youth build confidence through self-expression and a sense of style.”
Lisa is a mother to two teenage sons and she works as a Therapeutic Business Specialist in the pharmaceutical industry. She’s never been too busy to help others though. Now a decade into her life-changing volunteer work at The Hanger, you’re likely to find her picking up donations from around town, designing the displays and mannequins that give the space a true boutique feel, or heading out into the community to promote The Hanger and good work of CASA.
“These are our young boys and girls who are so near to being young adults but have little to no support as they navigate the real world,” she said. “ I love helping them eliminate barriers so they may reach the goals.”
Volunteers like Lisa are what make a community thrive and here at CASA, we are all honored to have her on board.