Baby2Baby: Helping Children in Poverty Receive the Necessities They Deserve

The Friese Foundation believes every child deserves to grow up in a comfortable, enriching environment that allows them to reach their full potential. The foundation is proud to support organizations that strive toward this same goal, such as Baby2Baby. Based in Los Angeles, Baby2Baby works to provide children living in poverty with the necessities that every child deserves: diapers, clothing, baby formula, food, soap, and more.

Lack of access to these basic necessities is a grave issue: around one in three American families struggles to provide their children with diapers.

To date, Baby2Baby has distributed over 190 million items to over 1 million children in 140 cities throughout the country, connecting to them through foster care, homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, public schools, and hospitals. Diapers alone account for over 100 million of the donated items.

COVID-19 creates new struggles

While difficulty affording basic necessities was already a widespread crisis in the U.S. before COVID-19, the pandemic has worsened the problem.

In 2019, Baby2Baby received 50,000 requests for baby formula. During the first month of COVID-19 alone, the organization saw 40,000 requests.

The need for diapers also skyrocketed. During the pandemic’s first month, Baby2Baby distributed 350% more diapers than in the previous month.

The pandemic’s affect on foster children

The pandemic has led to new problems for children in foster care.

It has become more difficult to find caregivers for children who have been removed from their family’s home due to abuse or neglect. Other family members are typically the first people contacted to care for these kids—but often, these family members are grandparents over age 65, who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Additionally, many foster care agencies believe that reports of abuse and neglect dropped significantly during the pandemic.

Many cases of abuse come to light after mandated reporters like teachers notice and report signs of abuse. These cases may have gone unseen with schools and daycares closed.

Baby2Baby’s response to COVID-19

Poverty and a lack of access to basic necessities for children is not a new problem. It affects millions of American families, even in times of nationwide stability. But during crises, more families struggle to provide their children with the necessities they deserve.

Baby2Baby has always stepped up during times of emergency and crisis, but the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. Unlike a natural disaster that affects one area, the pandemic had ripple effects causing families across the nation to struggle.

Moreover, like most organizations, Baby2Baby’s operations were complicated by the pandemic. Even so, the organization managed to have one of its most effective years in 2020, right when people needed help the most.

In 2020, Baby2Baby donated over 60 million essential items to children nationwide—five times more items than in any previous year. These items include:

●     Over 18 million diapers to parents who had been forced to make them from paper towels and newspapers.

●     Over 14 million items to underserved schools, including food, clothing, soap, and shampoo to families skipping meals because of financial difficulties.

●     Over 3 million items to hospitals and clinics treating families affected by COVID-19, including diapers, masks, and hand sanitizer.

●     Over 2 million items to homeless children and their families.

●     Over 4 million items to children placed in foster care due to abuse and neglect.

In 2020, these items reached more than 1 million children in LA and more than 100 other cities, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, and other major metro areas.

All children deserve an environment where they can learn, grow, and thrive—but that simply isn’t possible when parents cannot provide the basic, most fundamental necessities for a clean, safe, and nurturing home. Baby2Baby stands apart for its commitment to meet these essential needs.

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