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.
Oct 28, 2013

Stronger than the Storm

Stronger than the Storm
Stronger than the Storm

One year ago, Super Storm Sandy swept through New York, devastating the homes, apartments, offices, stores, and day centers of thousands of families who were already struggling to survive.  The message we keep hearing over and over again from the families Baby Buggy serve in the Rockaways, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and New Jersey who bore the brunt of this disaster is: "We are stronger than the storm."  The families from the Head Start programs, Fatherhood programs, and Nurse-Family Partnership programs we serve are deeply grateful for the help they have received and are working hard to continue rebuilding their lives. 

Over the past year, with your support, Baby Buggy has distributed 160,251 essential items to struggling low-income families affected by the storm.  Baby Buggy has provided thousands of diapers and wipes, food, cribs, furniture, strollers, car seats, toys, clothing, books, back-to-school supplies and backpacks, gift cards for groceries and other needed household items, and air purifiers for families living in moldy, water-logged housing situations.

We recently received this letter from a mother from Far Rockaway whose child is a participant in an Early Head Start program Baby Buggy supports.  We think it perfectly sums up how much we have accomplished this past year and how much more we need to do, together, to make this a lasting recovery:

"Dear Baby Buggy,

I am writing you this letter to inform you on how much you have helped my family and I. Since Super Storm Sandy I lost a lot of things due to the water and rusted pipes that busted. All of my bedrooms have mold where I had to throw away most of the clothes and the dressers as well as the beds. Giving my family and I these things such as clothes, food, lamp, diapers, wipes, and a dresser meant more then the world to me. Trying to get these things back and pay rent as well as supply things that my family needed was very overwhelming. When the baby buggy team supplied me with the thing that was truly needed it made me feel like someone still cares about us...being that I'm still going through hardship and still living in an apartment with mold and dealing with housing court. 

Seeing the face my daughter has when being able to go to the market with the Stop and Shop card meant so much to me instead of us standing on line for hours for free food. Also noticing how happy she was when she saw the clothes, dresser, lamp, and toys was priceless. Her birthday is on October 31 so last year she was unable to have one being that we had no lights, heat, nor hot water...due to Sandy she spent her birthday in the dark as well as being cold. This year she won't be able to have the birthday I would like to give her since I’m still going through hardship, but she WILL have a bed as well as a dresser, clothes, and toys that was given to her by baby buggy. I don’t know how I can show how much we really appreciate your help except with this letter...thank you so much.  Just knowing that there are people out there who still care means everything to me as I’m crying writing this letter thanking everyone again for all their help...it’s truly appreciated."            

Still "Rebuilding"
Still "Rebuilding"
Stroller Covered in Mold Two Days after Sandy
Stroller Covered in Mold Two Days after Sandy
New Floor, New Room, New Baby Buggy Gear!
New Floor, New Room, New Baby Buggy Gear!
Thank You Baby Buggy!
Thank You Baby Buggy!

Links:

Oct 3, 2013

The Kings of Queens!

A True Role Model
A True Role Model

On a beautiful fall Saturday as jets from nearby LaGuardia airport flew overhead in Queens, Baby Buggy celebrated with 71 fathers from all walks of life.  These fathers, along with their families, were participating in a "Stepping Up" ceremony to recognize their accomplishments and growth through the Forestdale Fathering Initiative.  They have truly become "Kings of Queens!"   These fathers have committed to "being forever present and actively involved in the lives they have created."  They have participated in numerous trainings on topics including parenting, anger management, healthy relationships, nutrition, and job skills development.  These dads spent many hours learning, sharing, and growing, despite the challenges of their other work and family responsibilities.

One father, Cleeford, spoke at the podium to the large audience (over 100!) of fellow dads, family members, and program staff who were there for the ceremony.  Cleeford shared that after participating in this fathering program, he believes he is “an entirely new person.”  He feels that he now has a deeper and clearer understanding of how to be a better father and how to be a better co-parent with the mother of his son.  “Even when I had to leave work early to get here for classes, I always knew it was worth it…for my son and for me.”  All of the fathers who shared their stories thanked the Fathering staff many times over and it is clear that strong bonds have been forged between the men participating in this innovative program.  They announced that a new alumni group is forming specifically for the dads whose first language is Spanish so they can continue to support each other after graduation in a comfortable, culturally-sensitive way.  Other alumni groups continue to meet on an ongoing basis to build on the lessons they have already learned and also to serve as mentors to fathers new to the program.

A highlight of this “Stepping Up” ceremony was when Thabiti Boone of the Allan Houston Foundation shared his own incredible personal story and inspired everyone there.  Thabiti did not grow up with an actively-engaged father and was born to a struggling, teen mother.  He threw himself into the rigors and joy of basketball as a way to cope with the many challenges he and his family faced.  He was overwhelmed when he discovered that, at 19, he was going to be a father.  When the mother of his child let him know that she was in no way prepared to be a teen mother, Thabiti stepped up and took his baby with him to college where he played competitive basketball.  As a teen, male, single parent, Thabiti said “what I would have given for a Baby Buggy back then....I had to find a way to pay for a crib, a stroller, formula, and diapers, all while trying to study and play ball!”  Thabiti’s baby girl is now 30 years old and he has dedicated his life to raising awareness about the challenges of father absence while developing important projects that promote responsible fatherhood.

Baby Buggy is honored to have been a part of this inspirational day and with the help of our generous donors, we will continue to help fathers, both graduates and new participants in fathering initiatives, provide the warm, loving, safe environments their children need to grow and thrive.



A Dad Sharing How He Has Grown
A Dad Sharing How He Has Grown
Mission Accomplished!
Mission Accomplished!
Proud Families Capturing the Moment
Proud Families Capturing the Moment
Congratulations Dads!
Congratulations Dads!
Thabiti Boone of the Allan Houson Foundation
Thabiti Boone of the Allan Houson Foundation

Links:

Sep 11, 2013

Back to School After Sandy!

Time to Play Bingo to Learn Shapes & Colors
Time to Play Bingo to Learn Shapes & Colors

In the Rockaways, Brighton Beach, and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn flooded by Superstorm Sandy, hundreds of children returned to their Head Start programs and schools fully equipped to learn thanks to your generous support!  Baby Buggy was able to provide over 600 backpacks and 600 early education school supply kits to the children we serve in these Sandy-affected areas. 

On a recent visit to one of our Head Start programs in Far Rockaway, we saw cubbies newly filled with clothing, backpacks, and school supplies, along with shelves teeming with books and educational toys.  As children and parents arrived, they expressed relief to be gradually returning to the normalcy of the back-to-school rush.  Because of the extensive flooding caused by Sandy to many classrooms, houses, and apartments, most of their backpacks and school supplies were completely ruined.  These expensive supplies are hard for the low-income parents we serve to come by during the best of times.  With the ongoing economic challenges of the rebuilding process, parents were finding it especially difficult to equip their children with the tools they need to succeed in school.  We were thrilled to step in and provide beautiful new backpacks and lunchboxes, along with crayons, paper, notebooks, glue sticks, pencils, markers, and all the other supplies children in early education and elementary school need to learn and thrive. 

And most importantly, we know that these beautiful backpacks and supplies helped the children feel some of the excitement that the start of a new school year can bring--every child deserves the thrill of flipping through a set of brightly colored new folders or running their fingers along the tops of a new set of rainbow markers!  These much-needed school supplies are a vivid reminder to these children and their parents that we have not forgotten about the struggles they have faced and continue to face in rebuilding their homes and lives after Sandy.  Thanks for making this week's back-to-school transition so positive for so many of New York's most vulnerable children!

Cubbies are Full Again!
Cubbies are Full Again!
Distributing School Supplies to Sandy Survivors
Distributing School Supplies to Sandy Survivors
Cool Backpacks for School
Cool Backpacks for School
Line Leaders Ready for Head Start!
Line Leaders Ready for Head Start!

Links:

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