As a Mom resource page, we are passionate about not only connecting with other parents, but helping them, when we can. With Diaper Need Awareness Week coming up (Psst.. it’s September 18 – 24!), we sat down with Bridget Cutler, Co-Founder of Moms Helping Moms Foundation, to learn more about her organization, where the idea came from to start Moms Helping Moms, and how we as a community can get involved. Read our interview below and be sure to spread the word about this amazing local foundation!
What is Moms Helping Moms?
Moms Helping Moms is a nonprofit organization distributing free diapers, wipes, baby supplies and period products to underserved communities all over the state of New Jersey. We strive to break down barriers which keep families in poverty. For example, without regular access to diapers, parents cannot utilize daycares (they require parents to provide diapers for their babies every day). 1 in every 2 families with babies in diapers report that they cannot afford a sufficient supply of diapers to keep their babies clean, dry and healthy (this is known as ‘diaper need’). Similarly, when people who menstruate do not have access to period products, they are forced to stay home for several days per month – 1 in 4 people who menstruate have this problem (known as period poverty). We also strive to provide children a fair start to set them up for success in school by providing clean clothing, books, educational materials, warm coats for the winter, etc. Our mission is to provide every baby born in New Jersey with a fair and healthy start so that they can be successful in school and afterwards, and to lift some of the burdens that parents and caregivers from underserved families face every day.
How did you come up with the idea to start an organization dedicated to helping moms?
After I had my first child, it really dawned on me that the cost to provide babies with the basic essentials is huge. Also, I realized that many parents have things that their kids have grown out of, diapers they no longer fit into, strollers that they’ve grown out of. On the flip-side, these unneeded items can be life changing for a parent who is struggling to provide for their own kids. So the intent was to match up the unneeded items with the families who did need them.
Has helping others always been a core part of your lives?
For myself (Bridget) yes it has been. I’ve always had an acute awareness of the inequities in our society, and how these inequities negatively affect certain groups of people. We live in a country of abundance so this should not be so prominent. I have always volunteered and been interested in learning about underserved communities and how we can step in where others are failing them. Helping others is my calling. It gives me life and keeps things in perspective. We teach our own children that we expect them to be kind, work hard, and help people whenever you can.
What would be your best advice for someone looking to volunteer or get involved with Moms Helping Moms?
Moms Helping Moms is a magical place where everyone shares the same passion – to help babies and their caregivers get access to the basic essentials they need to be able to live a happy, healthy and productive life. We encourage you to volunteer, come in for a tour, and / or attend our annual gala or participate in other events. We love meeting new people and matching their interests and skill sets with our needs. Many of our supporters and volunteers have become employees or board members – once they get their foot in the door the first time, they realize what an amazing organization we have and they want to do more. I have personally found that doing this work makes me feel fulfilled, every day. Even if you only have a little time, can only help from home, or can only help for 5 or 10 minutes at a time, we can find an opportunity that will work for you. Doing something is always better than doing nothing!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Diaper Need Awareness week is coming up September 18 – 24. It is an opportunity to engage with us to learn more about Diaper Need, and to get involved through hosting or donating to the many diaper drives our communities hold for us during that week. Thank you!