Baby supplies for 60 families in the Bronx

by GOOD+ Foundation

• Since its launch in March 2008, Baby Buggy has served a total of 91 families and 181 children enrolled in the St. Anthony’s Family Resource Center! Baby Buggy ensures these families receive regular donations of baby supplies, which many of these families would otherwise have to go without.

• Baby Buggy has provided these families with over 82,615 baby items including critical gear, safety items, diapers, clothing, books and toys.

• The following quotes are from two of the clients enrolled in Baby Buggy’s Family Resource Center at St. Anthony’s Head Start in the Bronx:

“Baby Buggy has been very helpful to me. When I found out I was pregnant I didn’t know how I would be able to get all the necessities for my child. Baby Buggy was able to give me a crib, stroller, diapers, and other basic necessities for my daughter. With the money I save I was able to open a savings account and now my daughter will have a better future.” “I received all the things my baby needed. I no longer have to worry about my daughter not having a crib, diapers, clothes, stroller and other items like that. I am very thankful that Baby Buggy was here to help me. They even gave me stuff for my oldest daughter. Thank you Baby Buggy.”

• In March of 2010, Baby Buggy trained a team of Credit Suisse employees to facilitate benefits analysis sessions with families enrolled in the Family Resource Center. The Credit Suisse employees interviewed the clients to determine their eligibility for over 20 public benefits, tax credits and work supports and shared information on how to access these benefits.

• These benefits analysis sessions were a great success. The volunteers and clients really bonded; the clients reported that they felt very comfortable and welcome and found these sessions to be informative.

• The idea is to raise awareness about the multitude of benefits these client families are eligible to receive, help them access these resources and alleviate any fear or mistrust they may have around accessing these benefits

• Baby Buggy followed up by with referrals to many community resources offering specialized services to meet their individual needs. .

• The following are quotes from the staff at St. Anthony’s on the benefits analysis sessions with their client families: “You have offered and provided our families with more services than we would normally be able to provide. As a result, they are well on their way to financial security. Thursday's benefits analysis session offered them more support and as a result we now know how to better serve them. The information and guidance you offered the parents was well accepted and they look forward to acquiring the necessary assistance and support from our Family Workers to help them with their benefits enrollment. Thank you for your help.” - Site Director at St. Anthony's Head Start

“I look forward to helping the parents obtain all the services they need. With the information they obtained from the benefit analysis our parents know which benefits and tax credits they qualify for. One of the parents was concerned as to how she will provide milk for her baby once it’s born; once she left the analysis she felt a weight lifted off her shoulders because now she knows she qualifies for WIC. Stories like this make my job worth it. With your help, my parents now feel confident that they can provide a better future for their kids.” - Family Worker at St. Anthony's Head Start

• The following is a quote from one of the Credit Where Credit Is Due graduates from a previous workshop cycle:

“As a result of the class that I took I decided to start my own business as a child care provider in my house. I already made the class (15 hour) and have my license. I organize my house to be safe. With the information that I got from the seminar of finance I am planning to have a savings account, and a plan to use the money. Thank You!”

Since March of 2008, Baby Buggy has donated a total of 78,861 items to 69 families through the Baby Buggy Family Resource Center at St. Anthony’s Head Start in the Bronx! These families have been receiving quarterly donations of essential baby gear, clothing, books and toys and monthly donations of diapers to help keep their children safe and bring some cheer into their lives.

Baby Buggy just finished the fourth cycle of Credit Where Credit Is Due financial education workshops at St. Anthony’s – Baby Buggy had 20 families graduate from this fourth cycle. These financial education workshops help families develop a personal financial plan, reduce their debt, increase their savings and improve their credit. Many of the graduates have reported that they have been successful in reaching their financial goals as a result of attending this five-week workshop series.

Families enrolled in the Baby Buggy Family Resource Center at St. Anthony’s were excited to share the following feedback on how Baby Buggy has impacted their lives: “I want to start by saying thank you very much!! Without Baby Buggy I’m not sure how I would have clothed my new baby! I have been going through some very hard times in my life right now and I was not sure how me and my children were going to make it! Baby buggy was like a gift sent from God! Not only did Baby Buggy help me by providing my family with clothes and toys for my unborn child & my daughter, but Baby Buggy even helped me by providing me with maternity clothes that I really needed.”

“If it wasn’t for the crib, clothing, stroller, and all the other necessities I needed for my newborn baby I wouldn’t know what to do. Baby Buggy’s donation was priceless. Thank you so very much. You were even able to give me clothing for my other children as well.”

“I am very grateful for all the donations I’ve received from Baby Buggy and I now know that my baby is ready to come into this world because she has a roof over her head, clothing, and diapers. Thank you very much.”

“I met most of the financial goals I set in the Credit Where Credit Is Due workshop. My biggest goal was to get myself and my children out the living situation that were in. I also got additional help for myself. This was very helpful in my life and for my children. “

Baby Buggy has continued to serve the 60 families and 119 children at the St. Anthony’s Head Start Family Resource Center (FRC) by distributing quarterly donations of essential gear, baby products and clothing, as well as donations of diapers and wipes – keeping in line with Baby Buggy’s mission of providing families in need with the necessary baby items and resources to ensure the safety and overall well-being of their children.

Baby Buggy is proud of the wonderful resources and services that have been provided to the families at the FRC:

• Over 60,650 items have been donated to the families at the Family Resource Center, ranging from cribs and strollers to clothing and diapers;

• Baby Buggy held a Speaker Series with representatives from various social service agencies to address the needs of client families that were identified during last summer’s Financial Literacy Workshop; participants met with representatives offering services related to legal assistance, formal banking services and advanced financial assistance, as well as assistance with housing and landlord issues;

• Baby Buggy is currently offering the third Credit Where Credit Is Due (CWCID) workshop cycle to the families at the FRC; CWCID promotes economic empowerment among low-income families by increasing access to, understanding of, and control over financial services. The topics covered include personal finance, financial goals, budgeting and savings, understanding the credit system, financial institutions and financial services, and an overview of taxes and investments;

• A Benefits Analysis session was also offered to the FRC families; a group of trained Credit Suisse volunteers interviewed families using the self-sufficiency calculator to determine their eligibility for work supports, tax credits & other benefits, as well as how to access them. Our belief is that this will help improve the self-sufficiency and stability of these families;

• In response to the current food crisis, Baby Buggy launched a Healthy Food and Nutrition Initiative in November 2008 geared toward providing FRC families with another essential – affordable, healthy and nutritious food! Through the City Harvest/FreshDirect Buying Club, Baby Buggy has given FRC families access to high quality food and grocery items at discounted prices that can be purchased with food stamps, cash, or debit cards; as an incentive, Baby Buggy provides these families with free, monthly supplements of $30 in healthy take-home groceries to match purchases of $30 or more made by families through the Buying Club. Since November 2008, Baby Buggy has distributed 120 grocery supplements to FRC client families;

The following is an anecdote from Sister Mary Thomassino, Deputy Director of Education for the Archdiocese Head Start Programs:

"On behalf of the Head Start Parents and staff at St. Anthony Head Start Program, I wish to thank you and all those connected to Baby Buggy for your generosity to us.

Our families have received beautiful gifts that will provide for safe and better care of the children. They are expanding their food budget and learning how to save money and use those dollars wisely. We look forward to continuing this relationship."

Baby Buggy’s official start date for the Family Resource Center at St. Anthony’s Head Start was May 1, 2008. Since then, Baby Buggy has helped a total of 60 families and 119 children! Baby Buggy donations included critical gear and clothing, as well as monthly donations of diapers and wipes for all families.

Baby Buggy also offered a five-week financial literacy workshop series. The purpose of this workshop was to help families learn more about budgeting and finances, with the overall goal of improving the families’ financial stability. Baby Buggy is extremely pleased with what we have accomplished through the implementation of this program:

• Organized a training session for Credit Suisse volunteers so they can facilitate the culturally sensitive financial literacy workshop series • All 15 families that participated in the program graduated from the financial literacy workshop series, which focused on the following topics: budgeting, saving, debt reduction, credit repair, how to decipher a credit report, and identifying available benefits and resources • Baby Buggy provided dinner and child care for all participants to make the experience more comfortable and convenient for them

During the course of this workshop series, the families inquired about other topics such as legal assistance, advanced financial assistance, complete benefits analysis, help with housing and landlord issues, accessing federal student loans, as well as information about various education and certification programs. Baby Buggy turned to many of the Community-based Organizations in our network to provide information about referrals and resources available to families. Baby Buggy will organize a Speaker Series for all St. Anthony’s families to address these topics of interest; this will keep the momentum going with the program graduates, help us recruit a new set of families to enroll in the next workshop series, as well as ensure that we are meeting the diverse needs of these families. We strive to continue to improve the families’ quality of life, as well as their financial and overall stability.

The following are anecdotes from staff, participants, and a volunteer, which demonstrate that this program was beneficial to all who were involved with this project:

“Baby Buggy not only gives material goods to families, but also provides emotional support and guidance for the whole family helping them achieve their life goals”. – St. Anthony’s Education Director

“I really feel the workshop was helpful. I had a lot of questions that were answered. Everyone was friendly – this also helped me open up to them freely. Thank you very much. You should definitely offer more workshops concerning financial needs”. – Workshop Participant

“The Baby Buggy Financial Workshop was a very helpful program offered to St. Anthony’s. It made me understand how to make a budget plan and realize that with a budget I would be able to see where my money was going or coming and how to control it better. They also informed me of how important it is to obtain a credit report and that it should be done on a yearly basis. I really enjoyed attending the workshops and I hope that St. Anthony’s continues to offer these workshops in the future”. – Workshop Participant

“Thank you for creating the opportunity to give back. The experience was very humbling and gratifying - I truly enjoyed it! I could tell it was truly needed based on the participants' comments”. – Credit Suisse Volunteer

Baby Buggy has been serving St. Anthony’s Head Start program since April 2006; since then, we have distributed nearly 20,000 baby items and gear to families at St. Anthony’s - valued at almost $150,000.

Recently, the Director at St. Anthony’s asked an expectant mother of three enrolled in the program to briefly describe her thoughts about Baby Buggy resources. She shared that although her husband works, they struggle to obtain the essentials they need. She was very worried about whether they would be able to acquire all of the necessities to take care of their new baby. After receiving essential gear, clothing, books, bath products, as well as clothing and shoes for her other children, she said that Baby Buggy was the answer to her prayers. “God is good and his blessings sometimes come through good and kind hearted people you don’t even know,” she said, “Thank you, thank you, Baby Buggy.”

Through funding for the Family Resource Center, we plan to provide 60 families at St. Anthony’s with 4-6 Baby Buggy donations a year. These donations will consist of essential baby items and gear, clothing, books, and many other baby products to help provide families with all of the baby items that are needed to help with the safety and well-being of their young children.

In preparing for our May 1st start date, we have made the following strides towards offering families regular Baby Buggy resources, financial education workshops, and benefits analysis in order to empower families so they can help themselves to improve their financial and overall stress:

• Sixty families have been identified to participate – these families will begin receiving Baby Buggy donations on May 1st;

• Family Workers from St. Anthony’s were sent to a training session on how to use the self-sufficiency calculator, which will give them the ability to determine which benefits the families are eligible to receive;

• The financial literacy curriculum for financial education workshops has been selected;

• We have secured a facilitator to train volunteers to facilitate culturally sensitive financial education workshops and individual financial sessions with families;

• Recruitment of volunteers to facilitate the financial education workshops with families is currently underway;

• There have been two on-site volunteer events in which families participated by patching and repairing clothing. This allowed families to bond and strengthen ties; the clothing was then distributed to families within the community.


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Organization Information

GOOD+ Foundation

Location: New York, New York - USA
Website: http:/​/​
GOOD+ Foundation
Project Leader:
Katherine Snider
Executive Director
New York, NY United States

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