Tag Archives: donation drive

What Not to Donate

photo by tangobaby

photo by tangobaby *Note: bourbon is for scale purposes only.

We appreciate all of your donations, we really do, but while sorting supplies we found some things in our drop bins that are, shall we say, somewhat less than useful. Things like ancient, stained baby dolls and stuffed animals.

photo by tangobaby

photo by tangobaby

And matches. Medical supplies (e.g., syringes, gauze, suture scissors). Broken umbrellas. 3-D glasses. Aromatic candles. Random books. Backpacks containing the remains of someone’s lunch. Unwrapped toothbrushes. Soiled clothing. Unwashed clothing. Swim diapers. Decorative bowls. Half-filled Nalgene bottles and half-filled peri bottles. Old baby bottles made with BPA plastics. Open, leaking, and nearly empty bottles of shampoo, lotion, and conditioner.


Although I must admit, the surgical gloves came in handy when sorting through some of these items, so thanks for those.

By contrast, here are some things that would be great to drop off:

  • Diapers! Especially in larger sizes (3 and up), in open or sealed packages.
  • Pull-ups
  • Baby wipes
  • Tampons and pads
  • Costco-sized packs of toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Unopened, unleaky bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion — both travel and full size
  • Unopened baby care items (diaper cream, ointments, saline drops)
  • Unopened and unexpired infant formula
  • Brand-new socks and underwear for kids

A good rule of thumb for those who are considering donating items is to ask yourself, “Would I want to be given this?” If the answer is ewww, then please deposit the items in the trash instead. HAMO’s all-volunteer crew thanks you!


15,000 Diapers!

Diapers galore, by tangobaby.
I think it’s safe to say that our May Diaper Donation Drive was a smashing success: In one month, our supporters donated 15,000 diapers to families in need, plus thousands of travel-sized toiletries and baby wipes. For reference, the photo above shows about 1,500 diapers collected just from drop bins at Natural Resources and SadieDey’s Cafe. Ten times that number is a veritable mountain of diapers. Thanks to the ease of Amazon wishlists, generous folks from around the country were able to participate by simply pointing, clicking, and donating diapers directly to the agency of their choice. In San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, busy parents took time out of their days to drop off diapers and other supplies at collection bins that were frequently overflowing.
We at Help A Mother Out have been awed and overwhelmed by the response to what began as a modest Mother’s Day donation drive. When we first set up Amazon.com wishlists for a couple agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area, we had no idea that we would garner supporters statewide, let alone nationwide; we had no idea that we would tap into an inspiring, energizing network of folks across the state  and the country advocating on behalf of poor families; we had no idea we would recruit allies and volunteers from around the world to help us help some mothers out.
Sorting supplies in San Francisco, originally uploaded by tangobaby.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who donated and spread the word, and especially to the following cheerleaders, collaborators, and co-conspirators:

Thank You From Brighter Beginnings!

Brighter Beginnings Staff With Donated Diapers

Brighter Beginnings Staff With Donated Diapers

Thank you to all of our readers and supporters who purchased diapers for Brighter Beginnings! Because diapers are the HIGHEST NEED, and in such short supply, Brighter Beginnings must ration out their supply to ONLY THREE  diapers per emergency case! Because of YOU, our friends at Brighter Beginnings were able to help many of the families who came to them for help in Oakland, Antioch, and Richmond.

We wanted to share with you the following communication we received from our friends at Brighter Beginnings to let you know how we made an IMPACT.

Emergency service resources are always in short supply for families without financial means, but in recent months the need has increased dramatically. Local food bank resources are low, and money that may have been going to basic needs is now going toward food.  Families receiving public assistance have only a few hundreds dollars every month to make ends meet, including rent, utilities, and household needs, and working families are struggling just as hard.  One of the most expensive items in a home with a baby is diapers. This spring, Brighter Beginnings has seen the need for diapers at least triple, especially toward the end of the month when money isn’t stretching as far as it used to and parents are forced to make tough choices.

Rosa, a client with a 22 month old and a newborn, was unable to purchase diapers until she received her paycheck, which was eleven days away.  Andrea, who has 6 month old twins, was just a few days away from the first of the month, but had to choose between diapers and the utilities bill, which was already late.  Sammy, a single dad with a 14 month old daughter, was just laid off and has no savings.

Brighter Beginnings was able to help these parents and more get through a few more days with the generous donations through Help a Mother Out, which provided over 1800 diapers and over 30 packs of wipes to our agency with this Mother’s Day campaign.  While these donations will help in the short-run, the need for emergency diapers is ongoing.

WE DID HELP A MOTHER OUT in a PRACTICAL and DIRECT way. Thank you EAST BAY folks, for being a part of our community campaign!

NOTE: HAMO’s current diaper tally for Brighter Beginnings clocks in at 2802 diapers. This only counts diapers donated via the Amazon.com wishlist.

As of May 27, 2009 our estimated TOTAL diaper count was 12, 154. We will have a more complete update and tally for our May donation campaign efforts in mid June.

Thank You from Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco

HPP Staff with diapers! Keep it coming!

HPP Staff with diapers! Keep it coming!

To all the folks who have purchased items via Amazon.com for Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP) in San Francisco, we just wanted to let you know that the diapers, wipes, and other supplies, are arriving everyday! Here is a personal note from our main contact there, Ms. Rebecca.

“The packages are still coming!  And in great numbers!  Your drive is such a success for us at HPP.  We have so many diapers and wipes right now that we don’t have to worry about running out and  telling mothers that we don’t have diapers, or even a diaper, for their children.  Can you imagine telling this to a family?  The worst thing is knowing that a child does not have a clean diaper.  This is not a problem right now, because the successful Help a Mother Out Drive is supporting HPP families by giving the community an easy way to give diapers, wipes, and other essential hygiene needs to families who are struggling.  Thank you.”

HPP’s Executive Director and Founder, Martha Ryan, previously told us that they are seeing more families who are having to make the choice between FOOD or DIAPERS. This is San Francisco, one of the richest parts of the world.

BECAUSE OF YOU, HPP does not have to tell a family that they have NO DIAPERS to give them for emergencies. Because of YOU, HPP has practical supplies for their tiniest clients.

THANK YOU for your help in MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE in the lives of San Francisco families.

Remember, HPP is just ONE of the agencies we have been trying to help in communities around the state. Stay tuned for more updates!

Miss K Raises $177 to Purchase Diapers for Brighter Beginnings

Miss K and her bake sale friend

Miss K and her bake sale friend

Breaking News from HAMO headquarters: High school freshman and micro-philanthropist, Miss K raised $177.00 worth of diaper funds for Brighter Beginnings at her recent high school bake sale.  That roughly equals 1,020 LUVS diapers OR 560 Seventh Generation diapers (via BB Amazon.com wishlist).

BIG Thanks and congratulations to Miss K for Helping Some Mothers Out! We hope your story inspires other young people to contribute their gifts to the cause! Remember to bring some brownies over next time you come to babysit!

Via Miss K:

Last week I decided to host a bake sale to raise money for Brighter Beginnings, one of the non profit agencies that Help A Mother Out is working with. It took a while to set up, I had to make announcements and post fliers around the campus of my school.

I asked my friends to help me sell and bake good at the three bake sales i held that week. The first time around, a Monday, we made the most money, a little over $70. The next two bake sales raised around $100. The experience was so rewarding and absolutely tasty, everybody loved the food and my friend and I enjoyed the baking.

Please take a moment to congratulate  Miss K by posting a comment below.

San Diego: Join The X-Man on May 31st

Via Xavier The X-Man

Via Xavier The X-Man

Mark your calendars! If you are in the San Diego Area, please be sure to listen to Xavier The X-Man’s radio show on Magic 92.5 FM . Local DJ celebrity, Xavier The X-Man, is dedicating his MAY 31st Sunday Morning Menudo event to helping us drum up diaper donations for local San Diego agencies serving homeless and very low-income families. Bring the kids, sample some menudo, and check out some AMAZING cars. This is a FREE event. Send us a photo of your cutie donating diapers or post via Flickr and tag it “HelpAMotherOut.org.”

You can read more about the event by visiting our San Diego donation page here and also by visiting Xavier’s website. And remember, if you have ties to the local community but can’t make this event, you can always show some local love by CLICKING through to the San Diego AMAZON.COM wishlist of your choice (top right hand column of our website).

LISTEN UP: Between now and MAY 31st, you just might hear a plug out about HAMO, and a radio interview with Alicia – our local gal, on Xavier The X-Man’s show. Out of area peeps you can also listen to him on the Internet by visiting MAGIC 92.5 FM.

BIG THANKS for the LOVE to Xavier, and everyone at MAGIC 92.5 FM, for the generosity  you are showing to our state-wide campaign and the San Diego area community.

Calling All San Luis Obispo Peeps

Do you know anyone down in San Luis Obispo? CalPoly students and college alumni? Mommy bloggers, grandmas, extended family, church folk, local media? If so, we could sure use your help getting the word out about collecting diapers, travel toiletries, etc.

During our big Mother’s Day donation push and chaos, we quietly added another wonderful day center to our May Donation Campaign (through MAY 31st): The Prado Day Center. We met them through the Twitterverse (@friendsofprado is tweeps with @hardlynormal).

From their website: The Prado Day Center is the only day center serving the homeless population in the region. Every day, between 90 to 120 people seek refuge and assistance at the Center and over 30 percent of the Center’s participants are now women and children.

Check out the details here. Download the local flyer here.

The Prado Day Center Amazon.com wishlist here. GO ON, CLICK IT and then SHIP IT DIRECT.

DROP OFF diapers and other hygiene products at the local YMCA:  San Luis Obispo County YMCA 1020 Southwood Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Mother, can you spare some time? Local folks interested in volunteering at the Prado Day Center – they are located in town at: 43 Prado Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Phone: (805) 786-0617  . Tell them we sent you.