Moms Helping Moms is on a mission to ensure that no New Jersey mother is left without necessary supplies for their baby. They accept donations for basic baby items to distribute to low-income families who need some extra support. By providing essential items and partnering with community groups, Moms Helping Moms is working to end child poverty. If you have items to donate or are interested in volunteering, you can find more information here.
Where did you get the inspiration to start Moms Helping Moms?
When I had twins in 2010, I never planned on being a stay at home mom. I found myself overwhelmed with motherhood despite my support system. Everytime I went to the store, I thought about the moms out there who don’t have support or who can’t afford the million things that new babies need. How are they getting by? I had a bunch of products that my babies outgrew, but I couldn’t find anywhere in New Jersey to donate them. My co-founder Bridget posted online that she was collecting donations to distribute to moms from her garage, and we teamed up. It really took off and we realized how big the need was. We had these grand ideas of how to help moms, but at the end of the day they just needed the basics: diapers, clothes, hygiene products, strollers, high chairs, and pack-and-plays.
Can you tell me about your period poverty program?
Through the National Diaper Bank Network, we got connected with other diaper banks around the country and realized that period poverty was an issue area that was natural for us to expand to. If women can’t afford diapers, they also can’t afford tampons and maxi pads. 1 in 4 women and girls have struggled to afford period products and have skipped school or work because of it. We’re trying to bring this to the forefront of legislation. In New Jersey, we’re advocating for free period products in all school bathrooms for grades 6 and up. We’re trying to take away the stigma and make sure that women don’t have to miss school or work because of a lack of products.
Where do you hope to take Moms Helping Moms in the future?
We are still a small organization, so we’re focusing on what we can get done well. It’s important to put our resources into the ways we can make the biggest impact, which right now is diapers and period products. We also just got a grant to get new car seats which will help our mothers safely transport their babies. It will be part of our “safe start” pilot. In the future, I would love to get into safe sleep solutions. We once had a mother come to us who had a baby sleeping in a suitcase because she couldn’t afford a crib. It breaks my heart to see that happening, and I’d love to tackle that issue next.
What is the best part of your job?
Although it’s frustrating and hard to see these situations that I’ve never experienced as a mother, it makes me feel good to know that we are doing something to help. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to empower the community to step up and support us. The best part has been watching the organization grow and see what the community is willing to do. We couldn’t do this without their support. Everyone who shares us on social media, donates, and volunteers with us is furthering our mission. The issue at hand has only gotten worse, especially during the pandemic, but our support has only gotten stronger.