Diaper Drive: State Capitol #Sacramento June 9-27th

Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez is hosting a diaper drive at the State Capitol in Sacramento from June 9 – 27th. Diapers collected will be distributed to local families in need through the River City Food Bank. 

WHY: Get diapers to Sacramento families in need and raise awareness on A.B. 1516.

DONATE: Diapers (all sizes welcome, sizes 4-6 especially)*

WHERE: Drop-off Diaper Donations at Capitol Office of Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez State Capitol – Room 5158

*All diaper donations will be matched by Help a Mother Out, up to 5,000 diapers.

You can help spread the word to local Sacramento folks. Forward this blog post ordownload/print the flyer.

Support for the drive is a joint collaboration between Gonzalez’s office, the Safety Net team at theWomen’s Policy Institute and Help a Mother Out.

Thank you for making a difference!

Thank You Safeway – Mom to Mom

Earlier this Spring, we had the wonderful opportunity to be introduced to the good folks at Safeway, Inc. and their in-store Mom to Mom brand. When they heard about our work getting diapers to low income families, they made a very generous offer to send an amazing 30,000 diapers (that’s 5 pallets) to our Santa Clara warehouse. Not only did they send diapers, but they sent volunteers to help us at our monthly sorting and distribution day.

Pictured above: Safeway, Inc. employees volunteering at our Santa Clara warehouse in April.

We are especially grateful, as the Mom to Mom diapers came during a typically low volume month. What’s more, we received our most needed sizes (3-4-5). Special thanks to Cindy, Danielle, Christy, Chris and Valerie for your efforts in connecting the dots, helping to facilitate this donation and for volunteering.

p.s. To bring even more awesome, the in kind donation from Safeway Inc., coincided with a generous $1,000 grant award made by Safeway Foundation’s corporate employee giving fund. The grant will be put towards bulk procurement of diapers that will ultimately benefit low income families in the Bay Area region.

Clara

We shared “Clara’s” story, as told by her case manager, La Tanya, at our annual event in March. Her name and some details of her story are changed for privacy.

Good morning. My name is LaTanya. I’m a case manager at the CVC. Since my son Eli was born, the idea of running out of diapers horrifies me, and makes me grateful for programs like Help A Mother Out. Every time I purchase diapers for Eli, I think about all the moms who can’t afford to do the same.

For the last 14 years I have worked directly with homeless families, and I know that access to diapers can make food, medicine and shelter possible for low-income families. Until started working at CVC I had never heard of programs that donate diapers and always daydreamed with coworkers that one day we’d be able to provide them. Help A Mother Out made my dreams a reality.

Today I’m here to tell you about one mom and her family: Clara and her two sons. Andre is her youngest son. He is 7 years old and has autism. Matthew is her oldest son who is 17 years old. He is about to graduate from high school and has dreams of going to college.

I met Clara a few months ago, after Help A Mother Out connected her with me. When I called Clara, she was crying. She explained to me that she was a single mom, working as a part time medical clerk, and she was having an especially hard time. Andre has autism. He has no verbal skills and hasn’t retained any sign language. So potty training has been extremely difficult for her. She kept apologizing to me over the phone for needing help.

That day I talked to her three times. It became clear to me early on that Clara was extremely isolated, and did not know about resources were available to her family. The more I talked to her, the more I felt helpless.  So many women like Clara get lost, because they don’t know about resources that could help.

I told Clara about MediCAL – because Andre is an older child with special needs, she could ask his doctor about prescription for diapers. She told me that Andre hasn’t been to see a doctor in awhile. We agreed that she would come into see me.

On the day she came to see me, the first thing I did before conducting a needs assessment interview, was give her diapers for Andre. She wasn’t expecting the help and seemed really shocked and kept saying “god bless you, thank you for helping me.” She cried uncontrollably. She could not believe that someone was helping her family.

Clara seemed worn down from taking care of her son with virtually no help. It was clear to me that she was a loving mother, but at her wits end with caring for Andre. She was under an incredible amount of emotional stress. As he has grown older, Andre has become more difficult to care for. The few relatives they have in the area have abandoned them. Clara, Andre and her older son Matthew are now homeless. They live in a friend’s garage.

After our first visit, I walked Clara and Andre to their car. After Andre was settled, Clara turned to me and gave me one of the longest hugs I’ve received in my life. It seemed to last for 20 minutes. It was the kind of hug where you literally feel the raw emotions and sadness from the other person, but also the kind of hug that there was hope. I became overwhelmed with emotion knowing that with Help A Mother Out, I could have this kind of impact on a family.

I think that even if I had just given her 4 diapers she would have been just as thankful. She kept saying thank you. God bless you. I’m so glad that I met you. I am shaken from the experience. Being able to help her that day gave me confirmation that I am in the right profession.

If Clara were here today, she would tell you that she came to me for diaper help, but that these diapers from Help A Mother Out ended up bringing the help and resources she desperately needed. Today Clara, Andre and Matthew are still living in that garage. Andre is in the process of getting enrolled in occupational therapy and he is scheduled to see a doctor for the first time in years. It’s going to be a long road for them but we are in the process of getting them the help they need and deserve – and we have the diapers to thank for starting this journey.

I’m here to tell you that diapers DO change lives and I’m really honored to be part of this program that truly makes a difference. I hope you will be too.

Thank you.

 

* “Clara” image via Babble.com

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.

This Mother’s Day, #GiveAMinute

Mother’s Day is a special time to celebrate the moms in our lives and let them know that we love them. This year, in lieu of flowers, we encourage you to honor her by giving the gift of diapers to struggling moms and babies.

Why Diapers?

 

Diapers are a small thing that make a big difference. 1 in 3 families struggle to provide diapers, and:

  • CalFresh and WIC programs prohibit the purchase of diapers.
  • Most subsidized childcare programs require a supply of disposable diapers to stay enrolled.
  • In a 2013 Feeding America survey, 34% of low-income families said that they reused diapers and 48% said that they would delay changing a dirty diaper.
  • A recent study from the Journal of Pediatrics strongly suggests that insufficient diaper supply is a significant risk factor for poor infant and child health, as well as for maternal mental health.

The good news is, 84% of social workers that participate in our diaper program report that access to diapers lowers anxiety, fatigue and stress among their clients. And you can do something to help!

This year our Mother’s Day Campaign theme is Give A Minute For Mom. Because it only takes a minute to make a real difference, and we need your help to reach more vulnerable families!

How You Can Help

  • Honor a mom you love by making a financial gift online. We’ll send your honoree a swell card! Mother’s Day is May 11th! Click HERE to honor her.
  • Visit one of our drop bin partner locations to donate diapers through May 31st. We currently need diaper sizes 4 and 5 especially. Snap a photo of the visit and let us know on social media!
  • Spread the word! Share our campaign with your friends on social media, using #giveaminute, and encourage them to honor moms too. At the end of this post you’ll find a few sample tweets/status updates you can use.

Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram this month as we celebrate and share ways to #GiveAMinute For Mom.

Check out Maria’s inspiring story to learn more about why diapers matter.

A.B. 1516 – The Diaper Act of 2014

Update July 15, 2014: Next hearing is scheduled for Monday, August 4th at 10am, before the CA Senate Appropriations Committee.

Update May 28, 2014: AB1516 passed the Assembly floor today 53-19. The bill will now move onto the State Senate. 

Update May 23, 2014: The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved AB 1516 and the bill will move onto the Assembly floor for vote. THANK YOU to all of our supporters for your advocacy, as well as the Safety Net team at the Women’s Policy Institute. Special thanks to Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez for authoring this legislation, as well as Appropriations Chair, Assembly Member Mike Gatto and all committee members who supported the bill!! 

Update April 9, 2014: The Assembly Human Services committee approved AB 1516 and the bill will move onto the Assembly Appropriations committee. We will be providing tools and ideas on how you can help support this important bill in the future. Thanks to all our friends for supporting our mission! 

It’s a big week for California babies at the State Capitol. For the first time ever, diaper need will be formally discussed. Kind of a big deal around these parts!

Assembly Bill 1516, introduced by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-80, San Diego), would make two significant changes to the California Welfare and Institutions Code:

  • An amendment to the Welfare-to-Work Article would provide an additional $80 monthly supplement for children 0-2 years, who are living in CalWORKs-assisted households. This supplemental income could be used by parents to help meet their children’s basic needs, including diapers and formula.
  • Creation of a new program, the Unmet Diaper Need Financing Fund, would provide financial resources to social service agencies for the purpose of helping to meet the diaper needs of the communities they serve. Agencies that work in largely impoverished communities could qualify for financial assistance to be used to help families gain accessibility to clean diapers.

We are excited AB 1516 has been introduced and is up for consideration, as its passage would have a tremendous impact on the families that we work to serve. We’re currently organizing our efforts to show support for AB 1516 and let our legislators know how important the issue of diaper accessibility is to low income families of California.

The first hearing to consider AB 1516 is this Tuesday, April 8th in front of the Human Services Committee at the State Capitol in Sacramento. We are organizing a small delegation to attend the hearing to show support, and Lisa Truong, our Founder and Executive Director, will testify in front of the committee.

This is a great opportunity for us to let the California State Assembly know that diaper need is a real and significant issue in our communities. If you are interested in showing your support, you can contact your Assembly Member to tell them that you support #AB1516. If you need to look up your Assembly Member, you can do so HERE.

We’ll be sure to post updates following the hearing on Tuesday, and we’ll continue to let you know of important legislative action items.

Read our letter of support here.

Help a mother out with a quick click over to Slidelane.com

Slidelane is a resource for new parents to find, share and recommend the best places and services in their neighborhood. Listings on the site include sleep training consultants, music classes, meal delivery services and family-friendly restaurants. It’s a brand new site and the co-founders are new advocates of Help A Mother Out. For that, we are extremely grateful.

From Tuesday, February 11 through Friday, February 14, Slideline will be donating diapers to families in need. Each new sign up results in 25 diapers donated in your honor.

Registering for access to Slidelane involves no commitment or cost and only takes two minutes. Help spread the love!

Sign up for Slidelane now >

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

MomsLA Party Brings In Over 1800 Diapers!

In Glendale, a city near Los Angeles, the MomsLA.com blog community held their annual holiday party at Moonlight Rollerway last Sunday. As part of the festivities, guests were invited to bring donations of diapers or cash to benefit nearby emergency homeless shelter Ascencia, where there is, among others, a pregnant woman who is expected to deliver soon.

And they responded in force! In return donors were given raffle tickets to enter to win a variety of prizes donated by some wonderful donors.

It wasn’t the prizes they were going for, it was their natural generosity. We collected 1,788 diapers, several boxes of wipes, and $120 in cash so we could purchase even more diapers!

They’re so lovely.

That doesn’t mean they didn’t get excited when they won, though…

Here is E. with the mac daddy first prize – a Razor Electric Scooter!

Other prizes included a Wii console with additional games, KidTrax ride-on toys for toddlers, gift baskets from General Mills, signed copies of Randi Zuckerberg’s Dot Complicated, a $50 gift certificate to Moonlight Rollerway, and a year’s subscription to Audiobooks.com!

Julia looks forward to activating!

The highlight of the party (besides the diaper haul, for me) was seeing everyone’s happy faces on the roller rink. When is the last time you skated?

Thanks to MomsLA.com for partnering with us on this drive! Here’s a video they made about the event:

New Diaper Drop Bin in Southern California

In the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, we have placed a new drop bin at the Play Destination in Agoura Hills. Now there is another place where you can take those diapers that don’t fit your baby, or diapers and new wipes that you have collected to help needy families in our area.

The Play Destination is a spacious indoor playground for children 6 and under with ample comfortable seating for parents. I’ve gone there with my own children on those super-hot summer days when outdoor play can actually be hazardous. The kids love the variety of activities they can choose from – toys, climbing, air hockey, and even a bounce house.

The Play Destination also hosts private parties and offers educational classes for families.

Our newly minted diaper drop bin is right inside the front doors. The Play Destination is located on Canwood in Agoura Hills near Sit’N’Sleep.

The Play Destination

28501 Canwood Street, Suite 3E
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(818) 292-8644

#GiveCheeksAChance on #GivingTuesday and through December

My youngest son was 9 months old when we started HAMO – talk about timing. Tired of Great Recession news, and with a little Oprah inspiration, a friend and I decided to take action in our community after learning that diapers were forgotten in the safety net. With your help we’ve been able to move mountains and change lives of women and children living in the margins of our society. On #GivingTuesday I’m sharing “Sheila’s” story with you.

Sheila was referred to one of our community partners after she found herself pregnant and homeless. Having grown up in foster care, she has no family support. Sheila began to see Lucy, a social worker from the department of public health. During one of their very first visits together, Lucy brought diapers for Sheila’s newborn baby “Michael.” As Lucy told me, “Those diapers sealed the deal, and showed her that she could trust me. Those diapers brought her hope when she had none.” Since those first visits, the pair have continued to work together and Sheila has accomplished so much. She was able to secure transitional housing and works the evening shift at Walmart, while her partner cares for the baby. She still has a tremendous hill to climb. But just about every other week she can look forward to Lucy knocking on her door, bringing hope in a little package.

In the coming year our goals include helping more moms like Sheila. Here are a few ways you can help us on #GivingTuesday through December 31st:

  • Help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $10,000. We will use these funds to leverage bulk-purchasing opportunities and support our program. Click here to make your gift. If you recently made a year-end gift – THANK YOU AGAIN! Skip to #2;
  • Forward this post to 10 of your friends with a personal note telling friends why you give back through HAMO. Encourage them to do good with you and match your gift. Whether it’s $500, $150, $50, or $10… every dollar hollers.
  • Give us a social media shout out on #GivingTuesday. We’ve drafted up a sample tweet/status update for you at the end of this email.

Access to diapers impacts big things: Mothers are less prone to depression, young children feel clean and dry, and social workers are provided with a valuable gateway towards cultivating deeper relationships with clients.

Friends, thank you for living your values and supporting our work. Ninety-percent of our support comes from individuals like you. Thanks for doing good with us.

Gratefully yours,

 

Lisa Truong, on behalf of the entire HAMO crew

Giving Thanks to You!

Thanksgiving is next week and we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to thank our community for all of your support. So we made this short 2 minute video just for you.

 

Thank-a-thon 2013 from Help A Mother Out on Vimeo.

Thanks for being part of our community!

– Lisa T., on behalf the HAMO Crew

@Facebook | Give | Let Good Grow 2013

p.s. Check back with us soon to learn about the many ways you can help mothers this holiday season!

In Memory of Baby Jordan

In honor of Infant Loss and Remembrance Day I wanted to share a story that came to us last year from Liz at the Junior Gym. JG has hosted a donation bin for our families since shortly after we started HAMO.

Hi Lisa,

I just wanted to email you to let you know about a recent diaper donation that came through Jr Gym. A couple came in with hundreds of diapers to drop off.  I wasn’t there, but Justin said he could sense their sadness as soon as he saw them.  They told him that their baby had passed away which was why they had so many diapers to donate.  It was very important to them that we pass on to HAMO who the diapers were from.  So, that’s what I’m doing.  His name was baby Jordan and he was only a few months old.

Life is truly a mystery.

– Liz, Junior Gym

Because we never got to properly thank Jordan’s parents for their gift directly, I wanted to share their story today to honor their sweet baby. We are blessed to have been touched by Jordan’s life and we know those diapers meant a lot to the mom and baby who ultimately received them.

New & Improved Diaper Drive Toolkit

It was about time that we revised the toolkit since the old one was from way back when we first started. We’re learned a lot since then and put those best practices into this handy diaper drive toolkit. Use the toolkit to host a drive for HAMO, or for a diaper bank in your own area.

Click here to get the toolkit.

You will find simple step by step plans, flyers and charts, sample letters to get others involved, and more. Let us know what you think?

UCLA panel explores child poverty – Sept 10, 2013

We are excited to attend an upcoming discussion, sponsored by our colleagues at LA Diaper Drive and the National Diaper Bank Network, with a panel of experts on the effects of child poverty. This is an great step towards spreading awareness of the needs of low-income moms and children.

LOS ANGELES – A panel featuring experts from law, health care and social services will examine how often children’s basic needs go unmet and the long-term consequences of that deficit, on Tuesday, September 10, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the UCLA School of Nursing, Factor Building, Moseley Auditorium.

One in five American children is growing up in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Research has repeatedly documented health and educational disadvantages that follow these children for a lifetime. “Extreme poverty,” individuals living on $2 per day, has grown to engulf 1.65 million households, according to the National Poverty Center.

The panelists will include:

Megan Aubrey: vice president of development at Children’s Institute, Inc., a non-profit serving more than 20,000 vulnerable children and families in Los Angeles County and a agency that distributes diapers with LA Diaper Drive.

Jessica Bartholow: a legislative advocate at the Western Center on Law and Poverty with over a decade of experience in anti-poverty organizing, advocacy and program development at the local, state and national level.

Joanne Goldblum: executive director of the National Diaper Network, which supports community-based organizations nationwide that provide diapers to the 30 percent of low-income families who cannot afford them.

Angela Hudson: assistant professor of nursing at UCLA where she teaches maternity-newborn nursing. Her research focuses on prevention and health promotion with at-risk youth.

This event is co-sponsored by LA Diaper DriveThe National Diaper Bank Network and the UCLA School of Nursing.

San Diego: Cruise for the Cause! – Sat Aug 17

Magic 92.5 and Xavier The X-Man are having their 11thAnnual Cruise for the Cause on Saturday, August 17th. This Car Show and concert will be held at the Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista from 10am to 4pm.

Enjoy a car show, concerts, a kid’s zone, makeovers, and more!

Come to this awesome free event for a great cause – helping save lives and kids with cancer!

Pachuca cosmetics is a cool makeup line inspired by the art of Latino culture and is all about confident women expressing a state of mind. They will have a pinup hair and makeup booth! Pachuca is generously donating their proceeds to HAMO.

Proceeds from event t-shirt sales will also benefit HAMO’s work in the San Diego community. Big thanks to friends Alicia and Xavier for supporting our local families with their t-shirt sales for the 5th year in a row!

Help support HAMO and other agencies at this fun event!