We LOVE parents who help parents who are struggling. That’s why we have to share with you this wonderful organization called Helping Mamas in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. If only their were more groups like this around the globe. We sat down with Helping Mamas co founders Jamie and Karen to learn more about this fantastic movement.
How did the concept of Helping Mamas develop?
My co-founder, Karen and I have worked together for several years at another large nonprofit in Atlanta. We are both social workers and moms. We are really passionate about helping mothers. As moms, we know that hard parenting can be. It is hard for us to manage working and raising our kids and we have so much support and so many resources. We couldn’t imagine how difficult it was for the clients we had served. We have been the social worker who has had to tell a mom we are working with that we don’t have diapers or a crib for their baby, which is heart breaking. We recognized the moms we are working with can’t focus on life changing skills like parenting education, job training, and school if they are worried about meeting the most basic needs for their babies. As moms, we understand how hard it is and as social workers we wanted to make a difference for these moms who were working so hard to break the cycle of poverty. After some research, we discovered there was no coordinated effort in Atlanta to distribute baby supplies to agencies. We decided to combine our passion for motherhood and our nonprofit skills into starting an organization that can make a positive impact on our community.
Tell us a bit about Helping Mamas…
The mission for Helping Mamas is to “connect helping mamas to mamas needing help.” We currently partner with 19 organizations that range from hospitals, schools, nonprofit organizations to homeless shelters. We work with the staff at these agencies to distribute baby supplies to their clients. Our model is to give directly to agencies serving women and children in need. We don’t give directly to individuals. We are able to support families that are working on valuable skills to help move their families to self-sufficiency. By partnering with high quality organizations, we know our impact is felt across many organizations and missions. Most nonprofits don’t have the time to look for baby supplies or the space to store them. Helping Mamas is the answer to that solution. We collect baby supplies and deliver the specific items needed, when they are needed. This allows the staff at our partner agencies to focus on what they do best, which is delivering services. We receive donations of diapers, wipes, gently used clothing, strollers, and all things baby. For liability reasons we only donate new car seats and cribs. We then store them and fulfill wish lists for our partner agencies.
Tell us a bit about the Mamas you help…
The moms we help are working hard to support their families and give their children a strong start in life. They are low income and aren’t able to afford their babies basic needs. Many of them are working and receiving public benefits such as WIC or food stamps. However these programs don’t allow for the purchase of diapers. Many of the moms we serve are caring for children with complex medical issues. What we have found is, that regardless of your demographics and background, we all want the same thing for our children. We want them to be safe, loved, healthy and to succeed in life. Our organization is helping moms feel confident and cared for by providing them with baby items. These items help keep their children safe and healthy, allowing their parents to focus on loving their children and helping them succeed in life.
How can Mamas in Atlanta and around the world help out with your cause?
In Atlanta you can help us by hosting diaper drives or baby showers! We love when communities come together and host an event that helps us gather more baby supplies. If you have gently used clothing or other baby items (except for car seats and cribs) we can arrange to pick items up. We often have volunteer events where we sort our baby supplies and then fulfill the wish lists of our partner agencies. Our events are kid friendly! We love to engage entire families in our mission. Children at our events can help sort clothes or make cards and crafts to go along with our gift bags that are distributed. For people not in Atlanta you can donate online at www.helpingmamas.org. If you have an Amazon account you choose Helping Mamas as your charity that you support and a portion of what you purchase is donated to Helping Mamas!
Why do one in three Mothers have to choose between diapers and food?
Diapers are expensive and diaper need is real! The average cost of diapers for one month is approximately $100, in Georgia the average monthly TANF income for a single mom with two children is about $280. Many people are shocked to learn that you can’t buy diapers with WIC or food stamps. The average minimum wage in the United States is $7.64 an hour. That is less than $15,000 a year. If diapers cost on average $100 dollars a month that is a significant percentage of a low income family’s income spent on diapers.
A lot of people don’t understand how a lack of diapers (and other basic baby items) can significantly impact a family. Without an adequate supply of diapers a baby can’t attend early childhood education programs, without child care, parents can’t work. If we can equip parents with their children’s basic needs we can help them reach their full potential.
How can companies and individuals help with your cause?
Great question! Companies can support us by having their company volunteer at events, host diaper drives,donate in kind items they might manufacture or sell. Companies can sponsor an event to help us raise funds or allow us to come talk to employees about our mission. Individuals can help by volunteering at our events, helping deliver baby items to our partner agencies, they can set up a monthly financial donation to help support the mission of Helping Mamas. For just $25 a month you can help us buy a box of diapers! Both companies and individuals can help us educate the community about the need to provide for babies basic needs. Locally in Atlanta, we are always looking for companies to be willing to serve as a donation drop off site. We would provide a bin for donations and then advertise where you can drop off donations and then we pick them up on a regular basis.
Who are some of the nonprofits you work with?
We work with nonprofits who are doing incredible work in our community. ChildKind was our first partner agency, they work with children who have medically complex issues and are either in foster care or with their biological parents. They assist with social and nursing needs. Atlanta Mission, has a program called My Sister’s House which is a shelter for women and children. Lutheran Services has foster care programs and refugee resettlement programs we help support. We try and serve a wide variety of programs, we work a local hospital and school system. We want the opportunity to impact families in multiple areas. We want our donors and supporters to know that when they give to Helping Mamas, they are impacting missions and families across the metro Atlanta area.
www.helpingmamas.org Facebook: Helping Mamas, Inc
Twitter: @helpingmamas and