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‘Safe Moms, Safe Babies’ Help Arrives

Baby supplies go to families impacted by COVID-19

Michael Leighton | 12/1/2020, 12:06 p.m.
Four northeast Portland organizations have received donations of over 2,000 diapers and other baby supplies for distribution to families impacted ...
Free diapers and baby supplies are made available to young families impacted by COVID-19 with the help of Jane Stockbridge, one of the interns working at the Mother and Child Education Center, 1515 N.E. 41st Ave., a home that was converted into a free resource center for pregnant moms and mothers. It is one of four Northeast Portland organizations receiving donations of over 2,000 diapers and baby supplies to be distributed to families impacted by COVID-19, the wildfires and economic hardships. Photo courtesy Mother and Child Education Center

Four northeast Portland organizations have received donations of over 2,000 diapers and other baby supplies for distribution to families impacted by COVID-19, the recent wildfires and other economic hardships.

“This is a huge blessing. Just one box of diapers goes a long way,” Maura K. White, executive director of the Mother and Child Education Center, told the Portland Observer.

Working out of a converted home at 1515 N.E. 41st Ave., the Mother and Child center is small, a grassroots nonprofit staffed mostly by volunteers that provides free resources 6 days a week for pregnant moms and mothers.

White said the center has been able to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic by following public health safety procedures and operating from the open space of the center’s front porch.

The three other organizations receiving baby supply donations are the Genesis Fellowship Church Food Pantry, Friends of Seasonal & Service Worker and the Northeast Emergency Food Program. The help was made possible because of the efforts of another nonprofit, the National Urban Housing & Economic Community Development Corp. (NUHECDC) which launched the “Safe Moms, Safe Babies” virtual diaper drive to provide free diapers, baby wipes, shampoos, talc-free powders, baby washes, and lotions to needy families.

Carlene Jackson, NUHECDC Board President, said the help is badly needed, citing the more than 400,000 Oregonians who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“This is a bit beyond NUHECDC’s usual mission of fighting poverty by providing affordable housing, free skill training, and job placement, but we are all feeling the pain and impact of the coronavirus and wildfires, Jackson said. “It is important for us to step up to the plate and be part of the solution, and keeping babies and moms from needy families safe is something we can all do.”

Reducing a mother’s exposure to COVID-19 is NUHECDC’s strategy for keeping mothers healthy. Increased stress can weaken the immune system, making a mother more susceptible to getting sick. Also, having to make extra trips to the store to get diapers can be expensive, time-consuming, exhausting, and can expose her to the novel coronavirus. By making free diapers available at the food pantry or emergency aid shelter where a mother already goes, mothers should experience less physical and financial distress.

Private donations and a grant from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund were used to purchase the diapers and baby supplies. Additional donations are always needed and any other groups and individuals who can help are urged to donate by accessing NUHECDC’s website at NUHECDC.org/donate and by a check through the mail.

For more information, visit NUHECDC.org or call 503-477-7387.