How BabiesNow! Foundation set out to make a difference for Colorado families
As BabiesNow! Foundation celebrates our 10th birthday this year, I wanted to take a moment to share the history of the organization and where our story began. BabiesNow! Foundation got started when a group of Denver area women recognized a need in the midst of the Great Recession. This is how it happened.
BabiesNow! Foundation collaborates with Denver-area nonprofit organizations to meet a basic and ongoing need for mothers and babies: diapers and wipes. These essentials provide relief to mothers and families who are struggling to afford these items and encourages them to continue on a path toward self-sufficiency. Importantly, these essentials are almost never covered by government assistance.
An Update on Federal and State Legislation Involving Diapers
Over the years, various federal and state laws have been enacted involving diapers. Those laws range from mandating changing stations in public restrooms, to tax incentives for diaper donations, to providing federal and state funding to low-income families for diapers and diapering supplies. Despite existing laws, there is much to be done. Significant legislation providing adequate funding for diapering needs is lacking. In fact, in 2017, one in three American families reported experiencing diaper needs. Over the last couple of years, a few important pieces of legislation have been passed, and various others have been introduced, but are still pending. What follows is a brief synopsis of a few key pieces of current and pending legislation:
As many new parents may take for granted, diapers and wipes are extremely costly. But, diapers and wipes are critically important to a baby's health, as well as helping to mitigate against postpartum depression, as was recently reported in the Huffington Post:
Changing diapers regularly is crucial to keeping babies comfortable, happy and ideally not crying. It’s also a health issue. A wet diaper can increase an infant’s risk of dermatitis and urinary tract infections ― which in turn can force parents to miss work for doctor visits. Not being able to change a baby’s diapers often enough also stresses the parents, which can affect the whole family. Multiple studies have shown that children of stressed parents are at greater risk of developing emotional, social and behavioral problems.
Happy New Year from BabiesNow! Foundation! I am amazed by how quickly January has sped by and am excited to be one month closer to our Spring Grant Cycle. Our deadline for applications is April 1st - right around the corner.
Are you or do you know someone in the Denver area who’s looking for help providing diapers to needy babies? Please check out the grant information and application at www.babiesnowfoundation.org. Grants received by April 1 will be reviewed in May and dispersed immediately afterward.
Exciting changes are on the horizon for BabiesNow! Foundation! After serving as President from our inception, in 2009, I am stepping aside for a great leader, Liz Nichols. Liz takes office September 1, 2017,and I will continue to serve on the Board as “Past President.”
Liz has served on our Board of Directors since December, 2012, including positions as Secretary and Grants Chair, and is all set to lead BabiesNow! Foundation into its next phase! Here are some of the exciting updates ahead:
New Address: We will have a new address: 5082 E. Hampden Ave., Suite 161, Denver, CO 80222.
At the May 19, 2016 meeting of the BabiesNow! Foundation Board of Directors, $22,200 in monetary grants, or 111,000 diapers — the largest amount ever given in one grant period — were made to 11 beneficiary organizations to purchase diapers and wipes. All of the beneficiary organizations use diapers/wipes as an incentive for moms/families in need to participate in programs that benefit the babies.
In 2015, BabiesNow! Foundation gave $29,000 to beneficiary organizations to purchase diapers and wipes to incentivize families in need to participate in programs that benefit babies. This means that 145,000 diapers will help keep Colorado's babies clean and dry.
BabiesNow! Foundation awarded 10 Denver area nonprofit beneficiaries over $23,000 in monetary grants to purchase diapers and wipes, in October, 2013. Over $13,000 of this money was raised at our 3rd annual “Wear Your Pearls Girls” brunch, held Sept. 19, 2013. Recipients are: Aurora Public Schools Young Parenting Program, Boulder County Public Health GENESIS, Children’s Hospital Colorado Colorado Adolescent Maternity Program (CAMP), Denver EFFECT, Doctors Care, Florence Crittenton Services (Baby Bucks program), Institute for Children’s Mental Disorders, Laradon Hall Society for Exceptional Children, St. Vrain Center (Young Mom’s Groups), and Sun Foundation for Developmental Pathways. All of the money was given to our non-profit beneficiaries to purchase diapers and wipes to be used as incentives for moms/families in need to attend programs that benefit their babies.
How do incentives matter? Here are two examples: A young mom is given an appointment reminder card, and told if she keeps her appointment, she will receive diapers for her baby. On the day of the appointment (a well baby check up), she runs into the clinic, worried she missed her appointment and the free diapers. Her ride wanted to cancel, but she begged him to drive her as planned so she could keep her appointment and receive the diapers. The clinic made the necessary adjustment, as she did not arrive too late. One cancellation avoided, and one baby receives the well baby check up as scheduled.
A therapist is in her car on the way to visit a mom and her family. The visit is part of a series of visits to help prevent child abuse. The therapist calls her client to confirm that she is on her way, and the client asks if there are free diapers. When the therapist arrives, she finds the client more receptive to the visit, and participates in a bonding session while diapering her baby.
Former teacher and retired attorney; community volunteer. “I founded BabiesNow! Foundation in the midst of the Recession, because I was amazed at the price of diapers and wanted to help our community’s babies in need.”