How are your new years resolutions going?
One of our resolutions is to get better at asking for help. We’re a small grassroots organization trying to make a big impact in the lives of families during one of the worst economic catastrophes of our time.
An acquaintance of mine recently remarked “I can’t imagine a WORST time to start a non profit. It must be awful for you.” Well, I guess in many respects, he is right. Foundation and individual philanthropy is down. Non profits must compete for scarce funding. Many say it isn’t pretty time in the not profit sector.
But for me, I look at it from the perspective of the families we serve. Social service agencies are having their budgets slashed. Children cannot wait for the economic recession to be over before they have access to a clean diaper. This is the most crucial time to give back to our communities and ensure children have what they need to thrive.
For all the wonderful news and impact we’ve been grateful to accomplish since starting, there is much, much more work to be done. For each partner agency we’ve been honored to provide diapers to, there are several we must turn away simply because we do not have enough diapers to sustain the great need.
Well. We’re here to stay, regardless of whether or not it’s a good time to be.
How can you help? Here are some ideas …
1) Host a Diaper Drive
Whether it’s with your playgroup, MOPS, preschool, K-12 school, the office, civic group, or you’re just plain having a party, a diaper drive is an easy way to give back and directly help our families who are struggling to provide diapers for their babies. Our free diaper drive toolkit can be used to help you get started with ideas, and we have a handy donation bin sign you can use to place on a donation bin. For inspiration click here, here, or here.
2) Host a Fundraiser
Every organization needs funds to operate. We need them too. Hosting a fundraiser, however large or intimate, is an easy and direct way to help our families. As a volunteer-run non profit, 100% of the funds we collect are puts towards our diaper program. Our 2011 goals include building up our safety net fund, so we may continue to efficiently supply our distribution network of partner agencies with the diapers they need, in the sizes they need most. For inspiration read this post about a group of women who were already coming together for a clothing swap, and suggested a “cover charge” to help us buy diapers.
We’re volunteer run, and it’s a cadre of thoughtful volunteers who have helped us accomplish so much since 2009. Aside from the above, our current volunteer needs consist primarily of outreach and development. From getting the word out to the community about our call for diaper drives, producing outreach materials, helping us post events online, researching grants and partnerships, helping us with event planning – if you’d like to contribute your skills to help us continue the momentum, we’d love to hear from you.
4) Become a Fairy God Mother
Don’t have time to help in the above ways? We recently introduced our sustainer program, in which YOU, fairy god mothers of all shapes and sizes, help us out with an automatic monthly contribution (tax deductible). We’re grateful to all of YOU who have already signed up to be part of this special group of people who want to make a big impact.
5) Your Idea!
Do you have an idea about how you can help a mother out in 2011? We’d love to know! For inspiration, check out our friend and long time supporter, Yvonne in LA, who recently decided to run the LA Marathon to raised diaper funds and awareness. And our friends at Diaper Rash Clothingdecided to honor the cause by diapering a baby for each onesie they sell.
“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Do YOU want to be great? Fill our inbox with love: info at helpamotherout dot org.
Photo credit via Creative Commons 2.0: Gertjan Baarda