Friday, November 30, 2012

Hey Boston--Give It Up, Mommyland!

I’m super extremely very excited to tell you that the Boston Give it Up, Mommyland event is on like Donkey Kong! And hold on to your britches because it’s this weekend. (Hey, as a mom of young children of COURSE I put this together at the last minute. I’m lucky I even had clean underwear this morning…)

So I've decided the Boston area event will benefit an organization called Room to Grow in Boston.  Room to Grow serves children ages 0-3 who are born into poverty in Boston. The moms (who are referred by social services) and babies come to the organization in downtown Boston every three months and meet with a social worker. At each visit, the clinician monitors the baby's developmental progress and provides resources and support to help the parent cope with raising a child in stressful circumstances. After the visit, the moms then get to "shop" in a collection of very gently used donated items, such as educational toys, clothes, etc. The moms are required to leave with a minimum of ten board books, too, so by the time their babies graduate out of the program the family owns an entire library!

My company, Isis Parenting, has an existing partnership with Room to Grow and back in October they set up a chance for employees to go spend an evening after work sorting donations. I went and was so impressed with the whole operation. When you walk into their organized space of donated items it feels like a nice, cheerful, clean real retail store. It's well organized and the items are really high quality.

I think Room to Grow gets it—not only providing educational and baby care items that these moms otherwise cannot afford, but also giving vital emotional support to moms in those first three (tough) years. These are women who are parenting in extraordinary circumstances and might not otherwise have someone to high five them and say—hey, this is a tough job, just try to do your best! To read more about their program mission and goals, click here.

So the Boston event is going to be a big donation drive for Room to Grow! We’re all making room for the influx of STUFF that accompanies the holidays…now is the time to clean out closets of too-small clothes, stack up the board books you no longer need, and set aside those awesome but too baby-ish toys and give them to another mama who really needs them.

My awesome company got wind of what I was planning and very generously donated their space for us to collect donations. They are also going to deliver the donations with their big cargo van next week. YEAH!!!

Here are the details:

What: Room to Grow Donation Drive

When: Saturday, December 1st, 10am-Noon

Where: Isis Parenting, 110 Second Avenue, Needham, MA 02494

Please feel free to stop in anytime in those two hours and drop off donations. Stay and help us sort, if you want. Bring your kids! I’ll put out some toys and coloring sheets so the littles can play and bigger kids can help us sort stuff.

Here is a full list of what Room to Grow does and does not accept…but my contact there told me this week they are currently in desperate need of educational toys, winter coats, snowsuits, boots (esp. newborn-24mo), pajamas, and boy clothes.

Room to Grow accepts the following items suitable for a child under the age of three and in excellent condition only:
Clothing, to size 5T
Crib Sheets
High Chairs
Booster Chairs
Baby Carriers
Bouncy Seats
Play Mats
Feeding Supplies
Baby Proofing Items
Baby Monitors
Diaper Bags
Children's or Parenting DVDs
Children's CDs
Photo Albums
Baby's Room Accessories
Child Rearing Books

The following items are accepted new only: 
Breast Pumps
Baby Shampoo
Baby Lotion
Diaper Cream
Baby Care Items

Sorry, we cannot accept: (for reasons of safety, hygiene, or appropriateness) 
Baby Furniture
Bath Seats
Car Seats
Car Seat Carriers
Diaper Pails
Baby Food
Stuffed Animals
Maternity Clothes
Pregnancy Books
Crib Bumpers
Sleep Positioners

Giddyup!!! Can’t wait to meet some of you on Saturday!
Guru Louise

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

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