As a special preview of the LA Baby Show, coming up on the weekend of November 5-6, we have interviewed or profiled many of the Show’s vendors and participants. You can read all about them on this Show blog, but of course the real fun is experiencing the Baby Show in person.
Tickets to the Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual, and can be purchased here.
Every family has clothes, toys and baby products that their children outgrow. Some of it gets passed on to other family members and friends, but so much is just tossed away. Meanwhile, there are families all over the country that could desperately use high chairs, sippy cups and car seats but can’t afford or find them. GOOD+ Foundation brings these extraneous items to the families who need them, working with established anti-poverty organizations to make their impact felt. Everyone at the LA Baby Show is proud to have them as a charity partner.
To find out more about all the great work GOOD+ does, we spoke with their Director of Corporate Product Outreach, Erin Berger.
For someone unfamiliar with the GOOD+ Foundation, how would you describe the organization’s mission and core offerings?
GOOD+ Foundation (formerly Baby Buggy) is a nonprofit organization that partners with a national network of leading programs to break the cycle of family poverty through the power of essential children’s products and life-changing family services. GOOD+ Foundation partners with programs that have demonstrated a capacity to address family poverty in three focus areas: supporting new mothers, investing in early childhood and engaging fathers. Through the generous support of donors and over 45,000 volunteers, GOOD+ Foundation has donated over 20 million items through its partner network across the United States.
What is the background of the GOOD+ Foundation? When did it start, and how has it evolved since then?
Jessica Seinfeld started Baby Buggy fifteen years ago after the birth of her first child. She was amazed at how quickly her daughter was outgrowing her clothing and gear, and wanted to create a mechanism to get that critical children’s gear into the hands of a parent in need. Amazingly, what seemed like a fairly simple idea at the time took off very quickly. Not only did families step up to donate, but companies stepped up to donate their excess inventory and get their employees involved through volunteering.
Anti-poverty programs around the country asked us to expand our work beyond New York to help meet the need of families in other communities. As we grew our operations and our work around the country, we tried to be smart and strategic to ensure our donations would have the greatest impact possible. We broadened our mission of providing baby gear to also focus on goods and services that help mothers, fathers and even older siblings. We built great partnerships with proven anti-poverty programs and, together, we have been able to use our donated goods in ways that have demonstrated impact on the lives of families living in poverty.
Our name, GOOD+ Foundation, highlights the importance of the multiple players in our work: It is the GOODs + services that can help families building self-sufficiency over the long-term. It is the GOOD that our volunteers do to help get donations out the door to those who need them. It is the GOOD that our product donors do when they help us provide for the critical needs of children and families.
All of us are working together to help end family poverty, and we want to recognize the power of those partnerships to do GOOD.
How does the GOOD+ Foundation go about achieving its goals?
GOOD+ Foundation is highly selective, joining forces only with antipoverty programs that already have an exemplary track record. When we add our goods and expertise to their established services the value of everyone’s contribution increases. Our goods incentivize participation in powerful anti-poverty programming. They make the work of social workers more effective. Our programs help families get the education and services they need along with the tools to build their economic security and provide for the well-being of their children.
We are able track the progress of our families through our partners. Our collaboration with the Nurse-Family Partnership, for example, has demonstrated that the clients we jointly serve have higher rates of maternal employment, lower rates of child abuse and neglect, and better school readiness. Our grantee partners will tell you our donations help reduce family stress (100%), help families’ meet programs goals (97%), incentivize families to attend more classes (91%), retain families in their programs (88%), and make families more likely to access the additional services they provide (82%).
What makes the GOOD+ Foundation special, as an organization and charity?
More than 16 million children in the United States, that is nearly 22% of all children, live in families with household incomes below the federal poverty level – $23,550 a year for a family of four. While government programs (such as food stamps and WIC) help provide food to families in need, many families still struggle to afford the essential items, such as car seats, cribs and clothing, that are necessary to keep a child safe and healthy. The day-to- day grind of poverty makes it very difficult for these parents to plan for a brighter future for their children.
While the need is great, GOOD+ Foundation chooses to make investments in families who are actively seeking help and are at a critical juncture in their journey out of poverty. Therefore, we work only with programs that support families over the longer term, using our donations to help enroll and keep them in programs that will change the trajectory of the entire family. This is what makes us special!
What can parents expect to see from the GOOD+ Foundation at the LA Baby Show?
Over the years it has been very exciting to watch the Baby Show Series evolve and we are so fortunate to be one of their charity partners. This show has grown from new and expecting parents to families that are growing and coming to see new items in the market. We couldn’t do our work without the incredible support of our product donors who donate nearly $5 million in new juvenile products to us annually so that our families have the cribs, strollers, high chairs, front carriers and other essential baby items.
We will be on site to meet the families attending the show and have a chance to educate them about our work in the LA area. This will allow us to show the parents and caregivers how easy it is to donate their gently used and new essentials to our warehouse nearby. We can answer any questions they may have about what we take. Their donated items help us do our job better!