The Allied Foundation’s Long Island Diaper Bank – A Community Partner Meeting a Crucial Need

by Melissa Passarelli, Docs for Tots Director of Programs

Allied Foundation Baby Shower

When Docs for Tots launched Help Me Grow – Long Island (HMG-LI) in 2018, we were trying to meet an identified need: families need help in supporting their child’s development. We thought the most common request would be developmental programs. But as word spread about how HMG-LI could assist with a variety of concerns, more and more families started contacting us to help find and access basic needs. “Basic needs” refers to necessities we need to get through every day – for families who struggle to make ends meet, this can mean anything from baby clothes, formula, clothing, and diapers. Over the past year 36% of families contacting HMG-LI need help with basic needs; of those, 55% specifically request help with diapers.

There are some programs that offer diapers, but often their availability depends on donations, and requires in-person appointments that necessitate a family be able to get to the location during the open business hours. Enter Allied Foundation, which operates Long Island’s first and only Diaper Bank. In the past year, Help Me Grow – Long Island has referred 43 families to the Allied Foundation’s Diaper Bank. These are families that are in dire need – those who have run out of diapers and options, lacking the money and/or transportation to purchase more clean diapers on their own. In addition to working with programs to collect or dispense diapers, Kerry Gillick-Goldberg, who oversees the Diaper Bank, personally ensures that families receive diapers to their door as quickly as possible. This service is a literal godsend to those in need. One family recently wrote to HMG-LI saying “I received those diapers, thank you. God used you to help me. Thank you, God, bless you!” Another said “The [Allied Foundation] Kerry has been a blessing. She is truly a caring person and helps out whenever she can.”

Recently, Kerry took things one step further by organizing a baby shower for moms in
Wyandanch. HMG-LI recruited 14 moms to come to the event. One such mom was pregnant with her second child and excitedly texted her HMG Family Resource Specialist, Blanca Franco, the night before: “I’ve never been to a baby shower before. That’s why I’m very excited to participate… I can’t wait to wake up!” Her excitement was well placed: in addition to receiving personalized gift baskets, moms also each won raffle prizes like car seats, gift cards, and pack-and-play sets.

Kerry and the Allied Foundation’s Diaper Bank are essential to HMG-LI reaching its mission of ensuring that all families be able to support their child as he or she grows, regardless of circumstance.

To learn more about Allied Foundation’s services and how to donate, visit
www.alliedfoundation.org.

 

Melissa Passarelli is Director of Programs for Docs for Tots.

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