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.
Jun 12, 2013

So Much to Celebrate This Father's Day!

Reggie from our Fatherhood Program in Queens
Reggie from our Fatherhood Program in Queens

June is the perfect month to celebrate fathers from all walks of life and we have been doing just that here at Baby Buggy! Dads from our fatherhood programs in the Bronx and Queens have been working hard over the past year to build on their strengths to become hands-on fathers who are actively involved in the lives of their children. Many will officially graduate this month and we look forward to celebrating with them. One dad, Shane, recently completed the Fathers First program in Far Rockaway and has weathered many personal storms (including Superstorm Sandy!) to become a positive role model for his young daughter. Congratulations Shane!

We also celebrated fatherhood at our annual Baby Buggy Bedtime Bash where 100 participants in our fatherhood programs attended with their children. This fun family carnival held at an amusement park in Central Park is a wonderful Baby Buggy tradition and we were thrilled to have so many of our participant families join us for a beautiful early summer evening filled with games, rides, food, and fun.

Reggie from one of our Queens fatherhood programs attended with his four children and wife Lisa. They all wore paper plate hats made by the famous paper artist "Mr. Cheng" and enjoyed playing with their balloon animals and eating delicious ice cream. And, of course, it was a thrill to meet Elmo and Olivia the Pig too! Reggie said that attending an event like this is a good reminder about how important it is for dads to stay in their children's lives, "Children really need their daddy and if you are not there, you will miss out on all those silly moments...those smiles are priceless."

Rodney from our Bronx fatherhood program also attended the carnival with his 2-year-old triplets and 1-year-old son Rodney, Jr.!  Baby Buggy was able to provide Rodney with a much-needed "quad stroller," so he is able to transport his adorable young family around his neighborhood. Needless to say, Rodney has his hands full and with help from supporters like you, we are able to meet the unique needs of low-income dads and their children.

Another young dad from our Bronx fatherhood program, Ronnell, shared with us how Baby Buggy has helped him be an even better father to his 2-year-old daughter Elisha: “I am Mr. Fix-It, the Boo-Boo Patrol, and the Early Bird, who is up first thing in the morning getting my daughter ready for preschool. I’ve had my share of ups and downs and this program has helped me with anger issues and with relationship issues…it helps me be a better father after every get-together.” Parenting is a fun and challenging balancing act for all moms and dads, but with the support of Baby Buggy and the Bronx Fatherhood program, Ronnell is able to build on his strengths and talents. Ronnell has received clothing, diapers, a crib, and a stroller for Elisha from Baby Buggy to help make parenting just a little bit easier as he works to build a happy and healthy life for his family in one of the poorest communities in the U.S. “I am grateful because this really helps relieve the financial burden for me…I appreciate any extra help I can get.”

Baby Buggy has distributed nearly 190,000 items to low-income fathers like Ronnell, Rodney, Reggie, and Shane and we can't think of a better way to celebrate Father's Day than to support all fathers as they work to become happy and healthy role models for their children. Thank you for your support and Happy Father's Day to all!

Quad Stroller for a Bronx Dad!
Quad Stroller for a Bronx Dad!
Jerry Hanging Out with Folks from Fathers First
Jerry Hanging Out with Folks from Fathers First
Shane
Shane's Graduation!

Links:

Feb 8, 2013

Superstorm Sandy - 100 Days Later

It is hard to believe that Superstorm Sandy hit over 100 days ago.  Unfortunately, many families in hard-hit areas in New York and New Jersey continue to struggle to recover.  Housing continues to be a challenge, as described so vividly in a recent American Public Radio piece profiling a mom from the Rockaways who is now in temporary rental housing while her families works to rebuild their lives.

The challenges for the low-income families that Baby Buggy serves are even more profound.  Our community partners in the Rockaways, Coney Island, Staten Island, Lower Manhattan, and New Jersey continue to update us on the ongoing needs of the families and children they serve and with your help, we are continuing to send needed strollers, car seats, cribs, toys, books, diapers, clothing, boots, bottles, formula, and food to these displaced families.  Because of generous donors like you, we have now distributed nearly 82,000 items to families affected by Sandy!

One of our sites, an Early Head Start program in the Rockaways, has had an especially tough time.  Their entire child care center was flooded and wiped out by the storm and they are working day and night to re-open in a temporary location until they can eventually move back into an improved, renovated space.  Their staff of trained teachers are now doing special "socialization" visits with the infants and toddlers in the program, often at the hotel rooms where many of the displaced families are still living. 

While the media coverage of Sandy is starting to fade, our commitment to helping low-income families and children recover from this storm will not waver and we are deeply grateful for your support of these efforts. 

Links:

Feb 8, 2013

Celebrating Giving with Dads and Kids

Laurel Parker West joined the Baby Buggy team as Program Director in December 2012 and attended her first site visit on Saturday, December 15th at the Forest Hills, Queens campus of our Forestdale site.  She participated in the Stepping Up graduation ceremony for over 30 fathers from diverse backgrounds and then celebrated with the fathers and their children at a holiday lunch that included food, conversation, singing, and a visit from Santa who distributed new toys to the children.  She wanted to share her experience with you, our global giving supporters, so you can see just how important it is to provide needed supplies to the innovative Fatherhood initiative at this site in Queens, as well as to our programs across New York and in Los Angeles.

On the Saturday morning after the heart-breaking tragedy in Newton, Connecticut, the attendees at the Forestdale Fathering Initiative Stepping Up celebration all hugged their children a little tighter.  As program staff congratulated the 30 fathers on their successful completion of the intensive 12-week program (including parenting and relationship skill development, job and education counseling, and anger management courses), they reminded us all about how precious our children are and what an important role fathers have in their lives.

The fathers at the graduation come from very diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and arrived at the program with different challenges.  Some had been referred due to domestic violence incidents and others through the family courts.  What was so striking about watching the group, was the strength of the friendships that had been formed between men from completely different walks of life who now share a common commitment to being engaged and loving fathers. 

Near the end of the program, after both the staff and participants shared how much the Baby Buggy donations meant to them and their children, a few of the fathers spoke to the crowd  about how this program had changed their lives.  One father, Zyman, candidly shared in a thick Eastern European accent that as a recent immigrant to New York, he had come from a culture and a family that tended to view women more as property than as people.  Through this program, he shared, he not only learned to be a better father, but to be a better husband and that his wife is his equal.  A participant in the young fathers program, Dashon, also got up to speak and shared how this program has helped him to be a hands-on father to his son even though his own father had never been a part of his life—he felt empowered to break this cycle.

Hope you enjoy the photos from this graduation celebration where father and their children could truly celebrate the bonds they are building and strengthening.  We thought you would also enjoy seeing the "Daddy's Promise" pledge that is part of this program too...a promise that all parents work hard to uphold.  Thank you so much for your ongoing support of our fatherhood programs!

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