Update 12/9/11: Congrats to NR for reaching their fundraising goal! If you are in the San Francisco area, please be sure to support this amazing community resource and business in the years to come.
Dear HAMO friends, this morning I received an email from Cara, owner of Natural Resources. NR serves as one of our flagship dropbin locations. Many of us on the team have benefited from NR serving as a community resource and store for new parents. It’s a mom-owned and powered independent enterprise that serves the community in countless ways. Cara and NR need our help now. The business has been suffering from the effects of the economy and this San Francisco parenting institution is in danger of closing it’s doors.
Please join HAMO in supporting Natural Resources. If they close, our community will lose a tremendous asset. The HAMO family is contributing $100 of our unrestricted foundation grant funds to help keep NR’s doors open. We rely on NR to help us serve both San Francisco mothers who want to donate their extra diapers, as well as the struggling mothers who benefit from receiving these critical supplies.
If you have ever benefited from NR – whether by a parenting group, birth education, stopped at the store to change your baby’s diapers, please consider matching our contribution with $10 -$100, or anything that you can spare. Make a gift here.
Natural Resources has been serving parents of all walks of life, from pregnancy through early parenting, for almost 25 years. We’ve shared many joys with our customers, first smiles, first laughs, first steps, first words. We’ve had women stop in while in early labor so we can embrace their excitement of what is to come. We get to congratulate partners and grandparents coming in shortly after birth with lists of “Oops, we realize we also need….” Often a mother’s first trip out with her baby is to Natural Resources where she knows she will be welcomed and supported while she nurses in a comfortable glider. Over the years, we’ve been part of so many heartwarming and memorable experiences.
Natural Resources has been mother owned since the very beginning when two women rented a small storefront in the Noe Valley district of San Francisco and began running classes and providing resources and support for parents, offering information that was not readily available at the time. As a mother myself, I took on the business when my oldest daughter was 7 months old. I was attracted to running Natural Resources because of my own experience during my pregnancy. I was fortunate enough to have an angel of a doula who educated me about my changing body, my growing baby, and my birth choices in the city. I went on to take classes at Natural Resources to gain more knowledge and had the most glorious and positive birth experience I could have ever asked for. What a life changer!
When I found out NR was for sale, I was excited at the opportunity of being able to offer the education and support I received during pregnancy to an entire community of people. In all honesty I had no idea what I was in for, but I put everything I had into it with my daughter by my side. And the business grew and grew. We expanded our product line always keeping in mind items that are natural, organic, eco-friendly and often locally made. We went from a 900 square foot store with a handful of classes to a 2500 square foot building with 3 times the number of class offerings. Classes we offer include childbirth preparation, newborn parenting, breastfeeding, mother/baby support groups, father support groups, infant massage, introducing solids, and baby signing.
Since the downturn of the economy, Natural Resources has been struggling but surviving. We have always been fortunate to have a supportive and loyal customer base – we truly have the loveliest customers. Unfortunately the last year and especially the last few months, things have taken a turn for the worse. The cash is just not there to keep up with inventory. Many times a day we have to turn people away because we are out of stock of the items they need. It is important to have diapers and wipes as well as the right sized bra for the new nursing mother. Equally important are our classes, workshops, professional trainings and support groups. Our educators and facilitators bring an impressive level of quality and professionalism to each and every class. We want our educational offerings to continue to thrive while we also provide the items our customers need.
This has been an incredibly difficult decision for me. At this point, I have tried everything I could think of to keep Natural Resources going and nothing has worked out as planned. Time is now running out. Therefore, I have decided to ask our community for help. The amount I am asking for is the minimum we need to keep Natural Resources open. Because of this, all funds will be returned if the goal is not reached.
With your support we will be able to do the following:
- restock the store with our carefully chosen and unique products with a special focus on the most requested, most necessary and practical items needed for pregnancy, birth and parenting such as nursing bras, baby carriers, layette clothing, breastpumps and breastfeeding supplies, and discounted maternity clothes from Maternity Xchange
- redesign the classroom space with more comfortable seating and an even cozier atmosphere
- expand our educational and support options, offering the classes, groups and workshops our parents want most
We have drastically reduced our expenses and will continue to keep them very low as we pull out of this rut. Going forward, we will be focusing on the products and services that we know bring in reliable revenue. As always, we will continue to be a safe haven, a home away from home, a place to hang out, feed and change your baby, have some tea and snacks, meet other parents, cry, share, boast, laugh. A place to build your community.
If you or anyone you know has benefited from our organization, whether 20 days ago or 20 years ago, please consider helping us. Your contributions will be the foundation for Natural Resources to continue to support families for many years to come. If everyone on our email list donates just $10 we will reach our goal and we are offering special perks to thank you for your contribution. We understand that some of you may not be able to directly benefit from some of our perks. If this is so, you have the option of gifting your perk to one person (family member, friend, client…) or we can donate it to the Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco (http://www.homelessprenatal.org) where your gift will go to a low-income pregnant mama.
Other Ways You Can Help
Share this campaign with your friends and family. Whether you post a link on Facebook or Twitter, or send an email to your community, we’d love for you to help us spread the word. You can also click onto our comments tab to give us feedback!
We greatly appreciate anything that you can offer. We look forward to sharing many more joys with our community of families.
With much gratitude,
Cara Vidano and the Natural Resources family