The Baby Buggy, Inc.

Baby Buggy provides essential items for infants and children to New York City families living in poverty. We accomplish this by collecting new and gently used items from corporations and families and delivering them to the communities with the highest rates of family poverty. Working with a network of social service sites throughout the five boroughs of New York, bringing cribs, strollers, clothing and diapers to families in need, we have delivered over 2,600,000 items to date.
Jul 2, 2014

Declaring Independence from Superstorm Sandy!

Time to Cut the Ribbon!
Time to Cut the Ribbon!

As the July 4th holiday approaches, Baby Buggy has helped the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) declare independence from Superstorm Sandy!  The VNSNY Early Head Start and Father's First programs in Far Rockaway just held an inspiring Grand Re-Opening ceremony at their beautiful new building, the Early Steps Family Center.  Baby Buggy was honored to be a part of this special day and participated in a joyous ribbon cutting ceremony on the roof playground. 

When Superstorm Sandy hit the Rockaways in October of 2012, the VNSNY program office was completely flooded and destroyed in a matter of hours.  In the end, they determined that rebuilding was not a viable option.  The teachers, social workers, and administrators found a building nearby on slightly higher ground that they dreamed would become their new family center.  Fifteen months later, on a gorgeous summer afternoon with the sandy Rockaway beaches in full view, VNSNY officially opened this incredible new family center. 

Since the storm hit, Baby Buggy has been working with our long-time partners at VNSNY to help their families with emergency assistance and long-term rebuilding support.  We have provided clothing, furniture, strollers, cribs, food, gift cards, air purifiers, school supplies, and more to meet the ongoing needs of the low-income families whose lives were turned upside down by Sandy.  We were thrilled to be able to help out with this Grand Re-Opening celebration too and helped with food, decorations, and donated Baby Buggy Beach Buckets filled with summer goodies for all the children in the programs.

Right before the ribbon cutting, a teacher in the Early Head Start program, Mrs. Hubbard, shared her vivid reflections on how Sandy affected her both personally and professionally.  Even though the teachers and other staff members had lost power and homes as well, they all came down to the site immediately following the storm.  They banded together to provide support for each other and to identify the immediate needs of the families they work with day in and day out.  She said that everyone was overjoyed when Baby Buggy staff showed up in a rented U-Haul truck filled with essential items.  Mrs. Hubbard recounted how Baby Buggy helped her personally as well when she received a portable heater for her apartment a few days after the storm.  She then joked, though, that while she didn’t actually have any power to plug the heater into at that point, it came in very handy once power was restored! 

The silver lining to the very dark clouds of Superstorm Sandy, though, is that the new center is now actually able to serve even more children and families.   The old center could serve 75 children and now they have the capacity to serve 185 in their amazing new space!  Baby Buggy will continue to support these resilient families and VNSNY staff members to ensure that they are free from the many challenges brought on by Sandy.   Happy Independence Day to all!

Jomael from Father
Jomael from Father's First with Taylor
Laurel (Baby Buggy) & Michael (VNSNY) Decorating
Laurel (Baby Buggy) & Michael (VNSNY) Decorating
Teacher Mrs. Hubbard Sharing Her Sandy Memories
Teacher Mrs. Hubbard Sharing Her Sandy Memories
Ready for Summer ! EHS Child & Teacher
Ready for Summer ! EHS Child & Teacher
The Center is Officially Open!
The Center is Officially Open!

Links:

Jun 13, 2014

Making Every Day Father's Day

A Dad & His Baby Girl at the Bedtime Bash
A Dad & His Baby Girl at the Bedtime Bash

Here at Baby Buggy, we don't just celebrate dads on Father's Day, we work with exceptional fatherhood programs across the country to let fathers know that they are valued every day.  Through our partnerships with high-quality fatherhood initaitives, Baby Buggy encourages fathers from all walks of life to engage more fully with their children. 

We kicked off "Father's Month" last week by bringing together a group of leaders from four of the fatherhood programs we partner with in Los Angeles and New York.  We began with a tour of our jam-packed warehouse while the rest of our team was preparing for our annual Bedtime Bash carnvial fundraiser in Central Park.  The leaders of the fatherhood programs enjoyed seeing firsthand how donated items like baby clothes are sorted, screened, and bundled in preparation for distribution to the dads and children we serve.  As we walked by a tall tower of infant bathtubs, one of our partners shared a story of how a bathtub helped one of the dads in his program spend more time with his daughter.  This father did not have primary custody of his baby daughter, but after receiving a bathtub and some bath toys from Baby Buggy, his daughter couldn't wait to come to his place, where she can now safely take bubble baths and spend quality time with daddy.

Following our warehouse tour, we dove into a lively discussion covering both the opportunities and challenges that come with working in the fatherhood arena.  The program leaders shared how difficult it can be to convince the general public, supporters, and even the dads in their own programs, that the stereotype of the "deadbeat dad" is rarely accurate.  So many of the dads in these programs never had dads in their own lives, so everyone is working to break this painful cycle.  Everyone agreed that if we really want to improve the lives of low-income children in meaningful ways, fathers must be part of the equation.  Together, we will continue to provide these fathers with the tools they need to keep their children happy and healthy.

After a day of "talking shop," we celebrated together at our annual Bedtime Bash carnival the next day. Over 100 low-income children and fathers--from our Bronx Fatherhood program, the Forestdale Fathering Initiative in Queens, and the Father's First program in Far Rockaway--joined the festivities.  The families enjoyed a fun summer evening, eating hot dogs and popsicles, riding carnival rides, and making memories. Ronnie, one of the fathers from the Forestdale program, brought his adorable three-month-old daughter Lily in an infant carrier provided by Baby Buggy.  Ronnie shared that "being a father means everything to me," and he strolled through the carnival grounds proudly showing off his baby girl. He said that Baby Buggy makes him feel supported as a new father and that the workshops and counseling provided through the Forestdale Fathering Initiative have made him a better father and a better man.  It was clear to us from talking with Ronnie that little Lily is one lucky lady!  Another highlight of the event was when some of the dads from our programs were able to meet and talk fatherhood with Jerry Seinfeld, a key supporter of our Fatherhood Initiative, and George Stephanopoulos, a long-time donor to Baby Buggy.  We are proud to have so many incredible dads in our corner and we thank you for your support of our work.  Happy Father's Day!

Fatherhood Leaders & Our Staff at the Warehouse
Fatherhood Leaders & Our Staff at the Warehouse
Sharing Best Practices with Colleagues
Sharing Best Practices with Colleagues
Working Together to Support Low-Income Dads
Working Together to Support Low-Income Dads
Fun at the Bedtime Bash Carnival!
Fun at the Bedtime Bash Carnival!
A Great Group of Dads at the Bedtime Bash
A Great Group of Dads at the Bedtime Bash

Links:

Mar 20, 2014

Spring is Coming to the Rockaways

A Time for New Beginnings
A Time for New Beginnings

While Superstorm Sandy is a distant autumn memory for many of us in the New York area, the devastation brought by this storm has had long-term consequences for many of the families that Baby Buggy serves.  With your help, Baby Buggy has continued to support these families as they work hard to rebuild their lives over a year after Sandy hit.  Many of the families we serve in the Rockaways are still struggling to find steady employment and housing.  The rebuilding process has been slow and disheartening, but signs of spring are finally arriving for many families!  Baby Buggy has started distributing bright spring clothing to families in need, including beautiful pink tutus just in time for Easter.  We have also provided maternity clothing to pregnant moms as they prepare for their newest arrivals.  Since so many apartments flooded in the Rockaways, clothing has been an ongoing challenge--many families lost every article of clothing they owned during the storm.  As some families finally secure new rental housing, we have also been able to provide much needed household items and furniture for the children as they settle into their new homes.

The Davis family is especially looking forward to starting anew this spring.  They have two children who are alums of our Head Start partner in the Rockaways, two who are currently enrolled, and an infant.  Superstorm Sandy was truly a nightmare for this family.  Before the storm hit, both mom and dad were working regularly in non-salaried positions in Far Rockaway.  Their two older children were enrolled in the local elementary school and their two younger children were part of the Head Start program.  One of the younger boys has special needs and was receiving enhanced care through the Head Start program.  When the storm hit, their apartment flooded and in one fell swoop, they lost their apartment, everything they owned, and soon after, they both lost their jobs since their places of employment were also completely destroyed by the flooding.  By working with Head Start staff, they were able to find a shelter in Brooklyn that was supposed to be a temporary housing situation.  This family has been commuting for over an hour each way back to Far Rockaway every day with all five children in tow so the children can continue attending their regular schools and the Head Start program.  They thought this was especially important for their son with special needs, as maintaining the services he is getting is so important to them.   Because they have had ongoing challenges finding employment, they have not been successful in finding new rental housing either.  The staff at the Head Start program have been visiting rental properties with the family on a regular basis and they finally have some strong leads for apartments that have been fully repaired that are close to the schools and can fit all seven of them.  During their very long time in the shelter, Baby Buggy has been able to provide new sheets and pillows, an air purifier, clothing, food, toiletries, and diapers and wipes for their littlest child. 

Superstorm Sandy is far from a distant memory for the Davis family and we haven't forgotten either.  When they finally secure their new apartment this spring, Baby Buggy will be there to help them with the household items they need to get back to some semblance of the busy but more secure life they had before the storm completely uprooted them.  We know that spring is just around the corner for this family and we will continue to work with families like the Davis' as they rebuild their lives and families.

Ready for Easter!
Ready for Easter!
Members of the Davis Family
Members of the Davis Family

Links:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of The Baby Buggy, Inc.

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about The Baby Buggy, Inc. on GreatNonProfits.org.