Carmel Realtor, The Villages team to help former foster care children transition to adulthood


Shell Barger has a special reason to support The Villages of Indiana.

The Villages works with the Dept. of Child Services to license people to become foster parents.


“That led to the adoption of my granddaughter, so for that reason alone The Villages is super close to my heart,” said Barger, a Realtor with RE/MAX Ability Plus in Carmel. “I have a 4-year-old granddaughter because of The Villages that my daughter adopted. For me, the even bigger piece is these foster care children, when they age out of their home, if The Villages is not able to get them off to college and into a dorm room, The Villages help them find a job and get their own apartment.”

In her work, Barger meets clients who have furniture and household goods that they are going to give away or donate to Goodwill.

Barger and The Villages of Indiana have announced a partnership to support and facilitate donations, such as furniture, household items, appliances and television sets to assist The Villages’ Older Youth Services program participants. A kickoff event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon May 1, at the offices of RE/MAX Ability Plus at Carmel’s Indiana Design Center, 200 S. Range Line Road, Unit 129. There will be remarks on the partnership at 10:30 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP at with any items they intend to bring.

“I’m crazy wild about helping these youth set up their first apartment,” Barger said. “It’s going to be an ongoing effort to collect.”

Barger said clients sometimes downsize or they just plan to get updated furniture in their new home.

“We can take anything but used mattresses,” Barger said of donations.

In particular demand, Barger said, are small kitchen appliances such as microwaves, coffee makers and slow cookers.

“When these young men and women turn 18, life after foster care can be challenging as they work to make a successful transition into the adult world,” stated Millie McDonald, director of older youth services at The Villages. “This partnership will give the community a place to go to support donations to make the transition a little easier.”

Donors also have the option to buy new items via The Villages’ Amazon Wish List and have them shipped directly to The Villages of Indiana office, 3833 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis. In the gift message, add Shell Barger OYS initiative. Forward the Amazon email confirmation to with contact information for donor tax acknowledgement.


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