All parents want the best for their children. Unfortunately, parents raising babies in poverty often lack access to the resources needed to help their children to grow and thrive. In the US, more than 2.7 million children under the age of three live in poverty. For the families of these children, it is a daily struggle to provide just the basic necessities of food, clothing, and a stable home. These factors tend to keep parents under a tremendous amount of stress and in some cases can lead to depression. As these issues tend to develop an unhealthy environment for children, there is one organization that is stepping in to help.
Since 1998, Room to Grow has been dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their critical first three years of development. Starting at the mother’s last trimester of pregnancy through the child’s first three years of life, Room to Grow offers one-on-one parenting support, education and referrals, and all the material items — including books, toys, clothing, and gear – to create a safe and enriching environment at home. Room to Grow’s social workers provide customized developmental information to help parents read and respond to their child’s needs, and provide coping strategies to deal with parenting amidst the stressors of poverty.
Each family visits Room to Grow’s warm and welcoming space every three months, where they receive information, support, and age-appropriate necessities. Books are in especially high demand as each child receives 10 books at every visit and parents are given instructions on how to nurture language development and a love of reading in their child. These items allow parents to provide for their baby in an immediate and meaningful way.
There are many companies and organizations that have teamed up with the non-profit to offer their continued support to the worthy cause. Major name brands like Scholastic, Playtex and BabyBjorn have provided significant in-kind support, providing high-quality children’s items for Room to Grow’s deserving families.
Individuals can help by purchasing items from Room to Grow’s wish list with GivingSomething, an online company that serves as a middle man for supporters to purchase critical items for charitable organizations. GivingSomething is featuring Room to Grow’s wish list, calling for parenting and children’s books, as part of Room to Grow’s Back to School Book Drive now through September.
Room to Grow makes it easy for anyone to get involved. The organization accepts not only financial contributions but also donations of new and nearly new toys, baby products, clothing and other items. In addition, Room to Grow is always looking for volunteers on-site to help sort and prepare donations for distribution to families.
The foundation of a healthy and stable child stems from the parents and this is why Room to Grow prides themselves on not only helping babies grow and develop but helping parents do the same. The staff at Room to Grow caters to each family’s individual needs because all babies, and all families, are different. More than 1,000 families have participated since 1998 and they intend for their numbers to grow significantly in the future.