As a mother, my day usually begins the same way. I am woken up by the sound of my baby crying. I walk into the nursery, pick Rhys up from the crib, change his diaper, then make him breakfast. The morning ritual is so engrained in my mind that I can do it while half asleep, before a single sip of industrial-strength coffee.
I am fortunate to start my days this way. I am happy to have a healthy son, the means to care for him, to clothe him, to feed him and tend to his every need. Not every mother is so lucky. Many families struggle to provide basic needs for their children. Some are forced to make the choice between diapers and clothes for their babies. Some are in danger of having their family torn apart by the DCFS simply because they can’t afford a crib for their child, which can be considered grounds for child abuse/neglect. Thankfully, Baby 2 Baby is there to help.
Baby 2 Baby is Los Angeles based organization that collects new and gently used clothing and gear, and distributes to families in need through several community-based organizations. I had the pleasure of volunteering at their warehouse at a recent event organized by Sara of Salt+Nectar.
Each item donated is then hand selected to be given to one individual in need. Circular cards hang on the tree in the center of the warehouse, bearing the name, age, and interests of a child, and what items that child is in need of. In turn, volunteers then fill a bag based on that criteria specifically for that child. Two shirts, three pair of shorts, a sweatshirt, a book, and a developmental toy all went to the first child whose name I plucked from the tree. It was moving to break down the cycle of donation to such a basic level, to realize how little these children have, and how much they really do need. It made me highly aware of how much Rhys has, and how much of it he’ll never really use… clothes he grew out of before he had a chance to wear, duplicate toys he was given at his birthday party… the list, embarrassingly enough, goes on. But now, those things have been donated to Baby 2 Baby and are moving on to another less fortunate child.
If you have the time, I highly encourage stopping by to volunteer at Baby 2 Baby. They can use help every day of the week, and are open to volunteers of all ages. Donations can be made in person at the Baby 2 Baby warehouse at 6435 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles. Additionally, some children’s boutiques around town accept donations as well. If you’re on the eastside of LA, Naya’s Garden and Yolk both collect donations–just keep an eye out for the bright green logo on the canvas donation bags. For a list of items accepted, as well as more information on the organization, please visit Baby 2 Baby.