Baby Basics an anchor in the storm

By laurel Meny

Baby Basics is so much more than an organization. For some, it is a family. It is a safe space that can help in life’s most trying times. And, for others, it’s simply a god send. For the past 14 years, this little organization has had a big influence working behind the scenes to ensure that every baby in Collier County and Bonita Springs – no matter their socioeconomic background – has a clean diaper to wear.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend a Baby Basics of Collier County event or watch as a family is given a package of diapers for their baby, you are missing compassion in action – right here in our community. In a sea of nonprofits, Baby Basics stands out because of its simple mission: provide diapers and kindness to babies of working families. All of its proceeds go toward that mission.

After having to go on medical leave while pregnant with her sixth child, a girl named Winter, Naples resident Lara Love, felt helpless. She was jobless and in a home that was too expensive, but not large enough to house her beautiful, growing family. And, to top it off, she – and thousands of others in Southwest Florida – were devastated by Hurricane Irma.

Her oldest son, Bruce, serves our country aboard the Navy’s newest nuclear aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford. Her eldest daughter, Sabrina, attends college in San Diego, Calif. Her 12-year-old daughter, Oasis, is a gifted student who is enrolled in the Cambridge Program at Gulf View Middle School. Jack, her 10-year-old son, is an exceptional student who received several awards just this year, including the Mayor’s Do the Right Thing award for saving his little sister’s life. That little sister, Ema,  nearly drowned in the community’s pond last year in a matter of minutes, but was saved by her brother. She is now three-years-old and thriving.

After enrolling in Baby Basics, Love said, “I literally was at a point where I had no idea how I was going to pay for my children’s education, clothing, back-to school  supplies and yearly exams. To make matters worse, we were struck by Hurricane Irma. Baby Basics helped me immensely! The volunteers were so kind and  compassionate and demonstrated commitment to help in their loving, giving ways. I’m forever grateful for Baby Basics. Thank you is not enough.” Since its inception, the organization has given just shy of seven million diapers to babies in its program. But, that doesn’t count the more than 400,000 diapers that Baby Basics was able to request, receive and give to help our community’s most vulnerable during Hurricane Irma.

So, how does the organization purchase all of the diapers needed to provide for these families? Through
donations and hosting several fundraising events per year, including a walking/5K challenge, an annual
fashion show, a champagne brunch, and several give-back opportunities, Baby Basics maintains a steady stream of contributions. So, join Baby Basics for a run in the park, for brunch, or just to donate a few dollars – and help provide a basic necessity for a sweet baby.

For more information about Baby Basics, please visit www.BabyBasicsCollier.org

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