Northern California

Annual Tea: ScholarShare helps parents take the first steps

It seems that every time I turn around, there is another story on the news about college tuition prices going up, or on student loans reaching the trillion dollar mark. I, myself, am one of those who have more student debt than I care to admit. That’s why, if and when my daughter decides to go to college, I want to make sure we have a plan.

This year, we were delighted to have ScholarShare’s support as a Tea Stand Sponsor at our Annual Benefit Tea held on April 25th in San Francisco. We are excited to be partnering with ScholarShare – not only are we happy to get the word out to our supporters about the importance of saving for college, but we, too, have been inspired by talking with Garianne Dashiell, a TIAA-CREF consultant. True story – after talking with Garianne, both Lisa and Anna are ready to sign up!

 

I (Anna) was fortunate enough to spend some time talking with Garianne before the Tea. Full disclosure: I was a little intimidated about talking to an investment consultant. I’m no pro when it comes to money management, and I’m certainly out of my element when it comes to investing. But Garianne said this is one of the best parts of her job: helping to break down the misconceptions parents have about investing for college.

“As the mom of a college freshman, I know what it feels like to wonder where the money for college is going to come from,” said Garianne. That’s one of the reasons she does what she does: it feels important to her to get the word out to as many parents as she can that planning is possible and it’s relatively easy.

TIAA-CREF Consultant Garianne Dashiell

How easy, you ask? Color me surprised: To open a 529 account, all you need is $25. *That’s it.* That’s less than a week’s worth of my morning coffee indulgence. That’s less than half a tank of gas. That’s a dinner out with a friend.

That’s pretty easy.

And that’s all you need each month – a minimum of $25 to put towards your child’s college education. I’m not saying I don’t love my morning coffee, but when I weigh it against my daughter’s education? Well, college wins every time.

Another great feature of the ScholarShare plan is that other people can gift into it. Grandparents or aunts and uncles or friends can choose to contribute to your child’s 529 in lieu of gifting your household with tiny plastic toys that you step on in your bare feet. (Legos hurt, AmIRite?) Garianne told me the story of a baby she knew whose young, getting-on-their-feet parents asked for 529 contributions for his first birthday, rather than gifts. When all was said and done, that toddler had over $1000 to invest in his college education. By the time he was one! That’s impressive stuff.

Thanks so much to Garianne and ScholarShare for investing in Help a Mother Out, so that we can continue empowering moms through our life changing diaper program.

If you’re interested in learning more about ScholarShare, you can check out their website at scholarshare.com. And be sure to note that this coming May 29th is 529 Day, and Scholarshare will match your $50 contribution to a new Scholarshare account with $50 of their own. Or, if you want to talk to Garianne, she says “Call me! I’d love to chat. You can reach me 415-882-3626 or gdashiell@tiaa-cref.org.”

Book @UrbanSitter + help a mother

Our friends @UrbanSitter has been long time supporters of our cause and we are excited to announce a new partnership with them.

Need a babysitter for after school or date nights?

Enjoy a free trial from our friends at UrbanSitter, a website and app designed to help Bay Area families find trusted babysitters and nannies.

When you book your first sitter using code GIVEHAMO15, Help a Mother Out will receive a $20 donation from UrbanSitter and you get your first booking for FREE.

Sign up & get UrbanSitter discount >>

Many of us at HAMO currently use UrbanSitter to find trustworthy babysitters and we’re excited to bring this opportunity to our community.

This offer is for new UrbanSitter clients only. If you already use UrbanSitter’s app, you can still help moms by telling your network of parents about this awesome offer.

Shop Mother’s Day @ Trina Turk, Burlingame

We are very excited to announce that Trina Turk’s Burlingame store will be holding a Mother’s Day shopping event to help raise awareness and much needed funds for our program. Thank you to Aimee Linhoff, Dana Griffin and everyone at Trina Turk for organizing this wonderful opportunity for the community to give back!

Here are the details:


  • 10 am to 6 pm Friday May 9th and Saturday May 10th, 1223 Burlingame Ave, Burlingame, CA 94010, phone (650) 340-8540

  • 15% of all sales will benefit HAMO.

  • Lite bites and bubbles served all day, both days

  • Please tell your friends!

Congratulations Earth Baby! #EarthDay

At our 4th Annual Benefit Tea last March, we were thrilled to honor our partners at Earth Baby with our first every Let Good Grow Community Impact Award. The annual award is meant to honor and recognize individuals, groups and businesses who make amazing contributions to our mission impact throughout the year.

In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to share with you Mark Siminoff’s (Founder and CEO) acceptance speech, which he talks about how he came to learn about Help A Mother Out and how we started partnering together.

In addition to being honored at our annual event, Earth Baby will also be honored at the Acterra Business Environment Awards reception in May. We wish Earth Baby all the best as they continue to grow, and are looking forward continuing to partner with them to help us get diapers to babies who would otherwise go without.

Here’s his speech!

Thank you Kristen for that wonderful introduction. And Lisa, it is an honor to be recognized by Help A Mother Out and it is a privilege to be collaborating with you.

I first became aware of Help A Mother Out a few years ago when one of EarthBaby’s customers emailed me to request that we donate a raffle prize for Help a Mother Out’s Annual Benefit Tea…

I looked into Help a Mother Out and quickly realized that both EarthBaby and Help a Mother Out are doing amazing things for the world in our own ways, so I set up a meeting with Lisa. When she came to my office she explained how Help A Mother Out works and how logistically challenging it was to collect and store diapers that were donated from their public donation sites. She explained that as a non-profit, it is relatively easy to get in kind product donated, but centralizing their inventory and logistics was an ongoing challenge and a significant expense. For me it was immediately apparent how EarthBaby could help. EarthBaby had a warehouse with space available, a fleet of delivery trucks, and drivers who are servicing the very same neighborhoods where Help A Mother Out’s collection bins are located.

I called Lisa back the very next morning and explained that we could solve Help A Mother Out’s logistical challenge by providing warehouse space and transportation for all of their in kind donations…. It was the right thing to offer in 2012 and today EarthBaby continues to contribute to Help A Mother Out’s mission to make sure that every baby has the diapers they need.

Even though EarthBaby is in the business of diverting diapers from landfill, we also realize that being in a position to choose between different diapering methods is a privilege that not every Bay Area family has. Today there are about 235,000 children in diapers in the Bay Area. As Lisa will tell you, roughly 30 percent of these children’s parents are struggling to survive every day. As a company, and personally for me as a dad of two children, we realize that it is our responsibility to give back to families in need – families who do not have the option to choose disposable diapers, cloth diapers, and yes even compostable ones.

It’s truly an honor and a privilege to contribute to this cause. I encourage each of you to find a way to get involved too.

Thank you.

Thank you, Mark and everyone at Earth Baby for being super heroes to our families – EVERYDAY!


Dear Reader, if you or someone you know is expecting a baby in the Bay Area, please consider checking out Earth Baby’s diaper service. We don’t need to be partners with them to tell you that they are a great and innovative small business to support! 

Image credits: Earth Baby’s Facebook Page.

Bay Area: 4th Annual Benefit Tea – March 22nd

BAY AREA – HELP A MOTHER OUT

Invites you to a morning of food and friendship…

4th ANNUAL BENEFIT TEA

Emcee ~ Kristen Sze, ABC7 News Anchor

Community Impact Honoree: Earth Baby the Compostable Diaper Service

Saturday, March 22, 2014

10am – Noon 

Mark Hopkins Intercontinental

San Francisco, CA

{Babes in arms are welcome!}

 

For sponsorship opportunities or to RSVP, contact:

anna@helpamotherout.org or 415-938-6667

Curt’s Story: In Honor of Father’s Day

In honor of Father’s Day, we want to share a moving testimonial from a father.

Curt’s story was highlighted at our annual Let Good Grow event by Phoebe Rubin. Phoebe is a volunteer at our partner agency, the Bayview Mission, a ministry of Grace Cathederal in San Francisco.

Here is what Phoebe shared with us:

I am a mother and the idea of running out of diapers horrifies me. That’s why I’ve volunteered at the baby ministry at Bayview Mission in San Francisco for the last four years.

I’ve given out diapers hundreds of diapers to families, and I know that access to diapers can mean the difference between having food, medicine and shelter—and not having those things.

I’m want to tell you about one family in particular. Curt is in his early 40’s and takes care of his baby Mia full time. Before his accident, Curt was a college-educated artist who made large metal sculptures and did construction work to pay the bills. Not anymore. Curt’s leg was badly injured when he fell from a 3rd story window at work. Surgery on Curt’s leg was botched, and his request for a second surgery was denied. Now, walking is a challenge for Curt. He lives on disability. One of the few times he goes out each week is when he comes to the ministry to pick up diapers and baby food for Mia.

Knowing Curt has made me grateful for my health, and the health of my family. That’s because Curt told me: that he never, in all of his life, dreamed that he would lose his health.  Curt grew up in a middle-class family. He never imagined himself disabled, needing help, instead of working and creating his art.  I bet many of you can hardly imagine that either.

About 3.5 years ago, Help a Mother Out started bringing diapers to our ministry. To us volunteers, being able to help families like Curt’s felt like winning the lottery. I have to admit that I look forward to seeing Curt roll up in his car each week with Mia.  He is such a well-informed and fun person. Every week I learn something new from him about local politics or current events.

Curt would say that diapers from Help a Mother Out have made it possible for him to buy things his family could not survive without. Instead of worrying about how to buy diapers, Curt can concentrate on parenting Mia. And that investment is paying off big time. Mia is a happy well taken care of baby.

Because of HAMO, Curt can do what he needs to do for his family—and his own health–rather than worrying about diapers. One day a few weeks back, after providing diapers for Curt dozens of times, there was a day when we ran out. The need is so enormous that, even though HAMO works around the clock, they can’t always provide diapers for every baby. I had to go out to Curt’s car and turn him away. He took the news calmly, but I wondered what was going through his mind, facing the week without HAMO’s help.  As I turned to go back inside, my heart felt heavy.  At that moment, it struck me what an enormous thing a diaper really is, and what a difference it can make in a life.  I’m happy to say that I gave Curt a bundle of diapers this week, thanks to HAMO.  Curt thanked me, and I thank HAMO for making lives like Curt’s, and his baby Mia’s, easier.

Curt’s story reminds us to be grateful for what we do have while encouraging us to remember that there are those who encounter unexpectedly difficult challenges in life.

As you honor the fathers in your life, we want to thank you for all that you do for dads like Curt.

How will you celebrate Father’s Day?

Clover By Clover

Clover By Clover’s generous support of our 3rd Annual Benefit Tea last month certainly made our meaningful celebration that much more so. Thank you!

Clover by Clover is a service that helps you take back the birthday party. Or the holiday. Or the graduation. Or the [insert celebration]. Take it back from the 1,000-piece toys that your relatives insist on giving the children. Take it back from the cheap plastic crap you already have too much of! Take it back from having your kids get more stuff that may quickly get broken, outgrown, or tossed into the “donate” pile.

Now you can set up a fundraiser for any special occasion that will benefit a worthy cause. Clover By Clover helps you facilitate it, and you can specify the cause and the amount that will be sent to them.


For example – for your son’s 9th birthday, instead of gifts, you ask friends and family to make a donation to the Clover By Clover page you set up to benefit, say, Help a Mother Out, or one of their other fine charity partners. At the end of the donation period, he has raised $400. He keeps a percentage of that money to spend or save, and the other part goes to the charity.

Founders Erin Aliaga and Betsy Ellis Chung started Clover By Clover because they thought that the latter scenario was preferable to “seeing stacks of toys at parties for children who really didn’t need (or even want) more.” They wanted to “make gifts more meaningful and celebrations more thoughtful.”

When Everyone Does Something – the 3rd Annual Let Good Grow Benefit Te

 

The 3rd Annual Benefit Tea in support of Help a Mother Out happened on Saturday, May 11, at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel on Nob Hill in San Francisco. It was a beautiful spring day with just a touch of fog left clinging to the edges of the amazing view from The Top of the Mark – the restaurant on the highest floor of the hotel that welcomes visitors to glimpse out the windows for a photo op.

But the best view of all was the sea of faces of the guests gathered around the tables in the Peacock Room where HAMO supporters showed up in person to enjoy each other’s company and listen to how they have helped the mission grow, and how they can continue to do so. The program, emceed by KABC 7’s Kristen Sze, opened with Kirsten Patel reading a piece called “The Club,” an excerpt from the Listen To Your Mother show that partnered with HAMO for a productive and beneficial Mother’s Day weekend.

Time to eat and sip some tea followed, with mingling and chatting and meeting new people.

Our table hosts created lovely table decorations and favors

The program continued with testimonials from HAMO beneficiaries via the new documentary featuring three brave women – Jasmine, Kim, and Abaynesh – and a speech from a worker at a partner shelter. Co-founder and executive director Lisa Truong spoke about guilt, and how government agencies routinely call her for diapers because HAMO is one of the only games in town when it comes to family support for diapers. And then HAMO board member Catherine Hazelton, visibly pregnant and a picture of motherhood, introduced the pledge cards and the newest way of supporting HAMO, the multi-year angel. Donors can now select to give one, five, or ten thousand dollars a year for five years – a wonderful option especially if there is an employer who gives matching funds.

Several amazing guests at the tea stood up to announce their intent to donate at one of those levels. In the end, the pledges bested last year’s total, and got us nearly half way to our 2013 fundraising goal! At this rate, we’re moving from “shoestring to sustainability,” which will allow us to help more people.

The most powerful thing about the tea was that all those people came, donated at whatever level they chose, and took away the power of the mission.

Let good grow.

Thank you to our event volunteers from partner agency WDDC, as well as our event sponsors including Alyssa Brennan, Clover by Clover, Earth Baby, Lucy’s Cookies, KidsintheHouse.com,  Plum Organics, UrbanSitter.com, and Skincare by Feleciai.

Who We Serve

Since inception we’ve distributed diapers to a number of organizations in California and elsewhere in the U.S.  Between January, 2011 and January, 2012 we served families through the following agencies. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this happen! Special thanks go to our friends at Huggies Every Little Bottom and St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County. 

Southern California

  • Ascencia (LA County)
  • Building a Generation (Inland Empire)
  • LA Diaper Drive (LA County)
  • Salvation Army,East Los Angeles Community Center (LA County)
  • Bayside Community Center (San Diego County)

Northern California

Alameda & Contra Costa Counties

  • Brighter Beginnings
  • Center for the Vulnerable Child (Children’s Hospital of Oakland)
  • Oakland Early Head Start
  • St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County (West Oakland Women’s Center)
  • Operation Shower
  • Prenatal Care Guidance (PCG), a program of the Contra Costa Public Health Dept.
  • Women’s Daytime Drop-in Center (WDDC)

Monterey County

  • Monterey County Association of Families Caring for Children

San Francisco County

  • Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP)
  • Bayview Mission
  • APA Family Support Services (APA)

San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties

  • Baby Basics of the Peninsula
  • Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford (Social Services)
  • Star Vista (formerly YFES)
  • Creation Home Ministries
  • West Valley Community Services
  • City Team Ministries, San Jose
  • EHC Lifebuilders

Viviana’s Story

Viviana was too ashamed to drop her child off to daycare without diapers, therefore would have missed school to remain home with her child. Thank goodness for Help A Mother Out, the Family Advocate was able to make an emergency drop-off to Viviana. She didn’t have to miss school and was able to take her child to daycare with clean diapers.
— Cynthia, Program Director, Brighter Beginnings, First 5 Resource Center

With your help, moms like Viviana are on the road to self sufficiency. Please consider sending a message of hope to our families with your gift today. In doing so you’re joining the HAMO family, working to sustain a much needed safety net in the year to come. Thank you for your generosity and commitment to our families.

Please Read: Leave it to the Big O, aka my Oprah story

A mother whose child did not yet have medical insurance had to use the last of her money to pay for medicine. This left her without money for diapers so we gave her a few days supply. Those diapers made all the difference.

~ Peggy, Social Worker

Dear Friends,

Before I co-founded Help A Mother Out (HAMO) I was a stay at home mom, focused on raising my two young children (then ages 9 months and 3 years old). I remember poring over countless parenting books and blogs, and fretting about whether my kids were getting enough sleep, nutrition, and intellectually stimulating experiences. And while I wasn’t keenly aware of it then, I now know that my husband and I are extremely blessed to be able to provide the most basic needs for our kids.

On a day in February 2009, after viewing the Oprah Winfrey show about how the Great Recession was impacting struggling families, I knew I had to do something to help. My first thought was to host a children’s clothing drive, but after reaching out to a handful of social service agencies, I learned about diaper need. The thought of a young child spending the entire day in the same diaper just broke my heart. I quickly learned that reliable access to diapers is the cornerstone for healthy babies, healthy communities, and a family’s ability to thrive.

Everyday I am grateful that HAMO gets to do something about this problem. Everyday I am in awe that a home grown project with a start up investment of $100, could help so many struggling families, as well as inspire action in many others (including many of you!). Together we have done a lot of good. Nearly 750K diapers have been distributed through our network of partners, including homeless centers, family resource centers, public health departments, and food pantries. Equally important, we have raised awareness and advocated for needy families. And, we’ve accomplished all of this on a tiny budget.

We are proud of our accomplishments, but the truth is our organization has a lot of work ahead of us. Our vision is a day when every baby has an adequate supply of diapers, and for every agency we have been able to help, we have had to turn two away due to lack of resources. Advocating for and getting diapers to families in need takes real financial resources. We are inviting you to “adopt” Help A Mother Out this holiday season.

For us to do our crucial work we need funds to pay for general operating and program expenses. You may think that your gift of $30, $50, $100, or any amount that is meaningful to you, may be just a drop in the bucket, but in reality, your help is actually what makes this whole operation possible. Since we started Help A Mother Out, 85-percent of monetary gifts collected have come from individuals like you.

Thank you for helping us to help more mothers, children, and caregivers in 2012.

Wishing you and your family peace, joy and abundance,

Lisa Truong, co-founder, executive director

On behalf of the entire Help A Mother Out family and network

p.s. We are pleased and very grateful to announce between November and December 31st, our friends at Huggies Every Little Bottom will match your monetary gift for unrestricted funds, with an in kind diaper donation – up to 300K diapers. Your timing doesn’t get any better to help.Thank you for your generosity and believing in our work.

SF Bay Area Diaper Program Needs Help With Storage

We are on the hunt for temporary donated storage for our San Francisco Bay Area diaper program.

If you or someone you know is in the commercial real estate business, or owns a storage facility, we’d love your help in procuring donated space for the next six to nine months.

Here are the deets:

  • We’re looking for donated space – rent free/trade (December 2010)
  • Ideal cities: San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, Alameda
  • 750 square feet of warehouse-type storage space (shared  is fine!)
  • We need to be able to store pallets of product.
  • Access to loading dock a plus.
  • We need access to the space 1-3 times per month.

We’re low maintenance!

  • We have a virtual office, so we don’t need desk space.
  • We can offer our donor promotional consideration via our website and social media channels.
  • If desired, we can drive traffic to your location by holding community events.

Most importantly, our donor will be doing a tremendous good deed and make a significant impact on the work we do to help struggling families in the greater Bay Area.

Know someone? Please pass it on!

Contact: lisa (at) helpamotherout (dotorg)

Photo credit: Wendy Copley

Bottoms Covered #ELB

We had an incredible community event on Wednesday June 30th, which we put together to celebrate our Every Little Bottom donation from Huggies.

Pictured above is one of our youngest volunteers handing out diapers to Mel S. from WDDC, one of our FIRST partner agencies. Mel is the volunteer coordinator whom we met a little over a year ago. WDDC took 50 cases of diapers on Wednesday. I think they’ll be able to give out more than 6 diapers per mom now.

We had about 8 agencies come by to celebrate the momentous occasion with us. The energy was amazing and everyone pitched it to do their share. It was… very grassroots.

Some of our original agencies were able to come and bring back truck and van loads of diapers (all large sizes!) to stock their shelves for the hot summer months. Moms loaded up their station wagons full of diapers to bring to more agencies.


Photo credit: Wendy Copley (http://wendolonia.com/blog/)

Whitney rallied her crew to join in and keep the diapers moving. Please note the crutches (She broke her foot a few days prior and still drove over to lend a hand!).

Wendy and her son W. came over to help load diapers and document the day. We loaded up her car with diapers to bring back to an east bay agency. Mike and his daughter E. came by and got down to business with the pallet jack. It was so great to see our youngest volunteers really wanting to be there “to help the babies.”

My friend Del helped organize the event and Steve just totally brought it together and made a lot of behind the scenes happen.

We are totally, we mean Totally, indebted to our friends at City-Core Development for donating space to house the diaper donation. Are you looking for office space to lease? Check them out and tell them we sent you 

At the distribution I had a great conversation with a social worker from a newer partner agency on the  peninsula. We were talking about how so many of her clients are struggling with the basics. Parents are working long hours and it literally comes down to paying the utility bill, putting food on the table, or keeping an adequate supply of diapers. She talked about how when she has diapers, which is not too frequent, she can give them to her clients and then they can focus on more solving more pressing issues.

It felt completely awesome to load up the social worker’s car with diapers for her clients. My hope is that we can figure out a way to continue the momentum this windfall donation helped start.

Big Hugs to Huggies for literally covering a whole lot of little bottoms the Bay Area this week. We’re having an amazing time bringing your diapers to moms who really need them!

Check out Wendy’s photos from the day:http://www.flickr.com/photos/wendycopley/sets/72157624272058027/