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.
Mar 5, 2014

Baby Buggy Helps "Build" Families!

Daddy-Daughter Movie Date!
Daddy-Daughter Movie Date!

In addition to providing essential items like car seats, cribs, diapers, and wipes that fathers need to care for their children, Baby Buggy often works with various partners to provide unique opportunities for dads and children to bond, learn, and have fun. Thanks to some generous supporters, we were able to invite a bunch of families from our fatherhood programs to go see the new blockbuster Lego Movie.

While taking your child to a movie may seem like a pretty common experience for most parents, the low-income fathers we serve rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to do something this simple. These fathers do not have the extra income needed to cover the costs of travel, the movie tickets, or even popcorn, which made this particular Saturday a very special day. Because of all the challenges these families face, even finding the time for a special outing with their kids can be tricky.

Baby Buggy knows that making time for bonding and play is a critical component of positive parenting and we were thrilled to be able to help the dads we serve to “build” their relationships with family at this fun day at the movies (couldn’t resist the pun!).

We thought you would enjoy hearing some feedback from four of the dads who attended this event:

 

“I enjoyed taking Katie for a daddy-daughter date to the city to watch the Lego Movie. We haven't had the opportunity to travel to the city often. The movie was full of clean humor that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.”

-- Garry P.

“We enjoyed the Lego movie very much. Our 13 year old son thought he was too old to go to a “kiddy movie,” but he enjoyed himself so much. The time spent with our grandson, niece, and son was great.  The Father’s First group and Baby Buggy are doing a great job making sure fathers and family get to spend quality time together. Keep up the great job. Looking forward to the next event!”

-- David M.

“I really enjoyed taking my son TJ to the movies. It was not only the first time that I took my son to the movies with just us (without the rest of the family), but also the first time that we’ve ever been in Manhattan together! I thought the movie would only be for TJ, but I also found it to be very entertaining. Thank you for this opportunity.”

-- Trevor B.

“Both my son and I really enjoyed the Lego Movie. It was the first time my son Tristan and I had been to the city alone together as well as to the movies alone! Not only did Tristan and I have a great time, he also kept his 3D glasses and brought them to school for show and tell! He was able to brag about the fact that he got to see such a cool movie and has those great glasses.”

-- Suraka S.

Ready for the Show!
Ready for the Show!
Check Out Those 3D Glasses
Check Out Those 3D Glasses
Fun for the Whole Family
Fun for the Whole Family

Links:

Dec 20, 2013

Christmas Comes to the Rockaways!

Twice the Christmas Fun!
Twice the Christmas Fun!

With your help, Baby Buggy has been able to bring some holiday cheer to families in the Rockaways who are still struggling to return to normalcy after SuperStorm Sandy.  On Wednesday, we headed out to a wonderful holiday celebration for families who are anxiously awaiting the grand re-opening of a family support center where they are participants in Early Head Start and Fatherhood programs.  The staff have been doing regular home visits and holding group "socialization" activities for the past year since their center was completely flooded and destroyed last October.  The new center recently opened for staff and they are now holding occasional play groups and fatherhood workshops onsite until the classrooms are fully ready to be back up and running early next year.  Many families and staff members are still not back in their severly damaged homes and apartments, so the nearly completed family support center has been a wonderful calm amid the ongoing storm. 

The turnout at the holiday party was incredible and the day started with puzzles, legos, books, and other engaging play activities for the families.  There was a fun holiday craft corner where moms, dads, and grandparents could help their children create adorable little snowmen and holiday scenes with stickers and markers.  The staff decorated a wall of one of the classrooms with twinkling lights, wrapping paper, and a Christmas tree and took family portraits for everyone who attended.  We then moved to another large classroom for a wonderful lunch and hot cocoa, funded by Baby Buggy's Sandy Family Assistance Fund.  After lunch, the staff invited parents to come and pick-up large bags of holiday toys provided by Baby Buggy that were developmentally-appropriate for their specific children.  Rather than having the children rip open the presents that day, we wanted the parents to be able to take these presents home so that "Santa" would be able to deliver presents on Christmas morning.  The moms and dads were so grateful that they would be able to provide a holiday filled with fun and toys despite the ongoing economic challenges they are facing.

Baby Buggy is also supporting holiday gatherings for both children and staff at another long-time community partner in the Rockaways, Community & Family Head Start.  We know that our wonderful partner, Angelina Alvarez-Davis, will be leading the carols and donning a fabulous Santa hat!  Angelina is one of those inspiring, selfless, creative, passionate community leaders that Baby Buggy is especially lucky to be working with.  We are delighted to share that Oprah Winfrey's O Magazine team agrees with us and featured Angelina in this month's holiday issue as someone who is beautiful on the inside and out! 

Angelina grew up in the Rockaways and was devastated to see her mother's home damaged by the storm and by the unbelievable challenges faced by the families in her Head Start program and by her staff.  She has been a true hero during the rebuilding process and leads by example.  Angelina has faced even tougher battles in her life already, as she is a survivor of brain cancer and has even created her own nonprofit for families facing brain cancer as a side project!  Angelina's e-mail address includes the word "mariposa," which is Spanish for butterfly.  When I asked her about this during the thick of the Sandy recovery process, she told me that the butterfly has truly become her guiding metaphor in life and at work.  She has helped her Head Start program transform into a beautiful butterfly that helps low-income children learn to fly as well.  And, as you can see in her impressive O Magazine photo spread, (she received a day of pampering and a full makeover as a small thank you for being such a selfless community leader), you will agree that she is indeed a beautiful butterfly!

Thank you for your generosity and for helping bring a little holiday cheer to the wonderful families, children, and staff members of the community partners we serve in the Rockaways!

Crafts with Dad
Crafts with Dad
Time to Eat and Celebrate
Time to Eat and Celebrate
Giving Toys to Parents for Christmas Morning
Giving Toys to Parents for Christmas Morning
Baby Buggy Partner Profiled in the December Issue!
Baby Buggy Partner Profiled in the December Issue!
Angelina in Action!
Angelina in Action!
Congratulations to our incredible Angelina!
Congratulations to our incredible Angelina!

Links:

Dec 3, 2013

Baby Buggy's Father of the Month: Rick Justiniano

Rick and his daughters
Rick and his daughters

In 2010, Baby Buggy launched its Fatherhood Initiative to support fathers who are struggling to play a greater role in the lives of their children. Since that time, we have donated over 160,000 items to fatherhood participants in NYC and LA. Each month, we are going to feature some of the dads who have played a part in making this program happen. This month, it’s Baby Buggy’s own Office Manager, Rick Justiniano. Here is his interview with Baby Buggy’s Executive Director Katherine Snider:

KS: When you joined Baby Buggy in 2009, there was only one other man on staff.  And you were our first dad.  You were a pioneer!  What was it about Baby Buggy that appealed to you?

RICK: Helping families- I loved the idea.  I loved the idea that it wasn’t just a 9 to 5 job.  It was somewhere where you were happy to get up in the morning and come to work. 

My parents came here from Puerto Rico in the 1960s.  I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of poverty.  I saw the importance of giving back.  It was always a struggle for my dad, but he worked hard.  He was very
responsible, he always put us first.  My mom was a school teacher at PS 173.  She was very dedicated, and she told us stories about kids living in really bad situations.  My family volunteered a lot at a soup kitchen during the holidays, and we did food drives. 

KS: You have two amazing, beautiful daughters. How old are they now?

RICK; Zoe is 12 and Mya is 14.  Since I started work at Baby Buggy, the girls have become more conscious
about giving back. They are more appreciative of what they have. 

KS: What is your favorite thing to do with your girls?

RICK: Going to the park on Sundays with my girls- when it’s warm.  I love having picnics with them.  Sundays in the winter start with a big breakfast.  We all sit around reading.  I read the Times, they do their homework.  And then we all make a big dinner. 

KS: Since you joined us, we launched our Fatherhood Initiative.  What do you think it most interesting or
important about this initiative?

RICK: Dads are so important to their kids.  More important than many think they are.  That status quo is that moms are more important.  And the system supports that.  I know from my own experience that dads often have to fight to be there for their children. 

And I love the way we donate.  We don’t just give out stuff.  We ask fathers to make a commitment to the
program and to their kids, and reward them for it.  Our donations make it easier for them to be parents. 



 



 



 



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