If it came between choosing to pay for your rent, medical bills or diapers and formula, what would you do? For an ever-growing number of families in Bergen County, this is the difficult decision they have to face.
Designed to bring relief to low-income families, the Baby Basics program was started in 1994 by a group of volunteers at West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Today, this volunteer-based program is generously supported by a host of community groups, local churches, synagogues, schools, and corporate and private donors that contribute funding.
Baby Basics serves low-income families with children ages newborn through 2 years by providing free nutritional formula for one year and diapers for two years. And to further help these families gain a more solid foothold for the future, a range of services is available to them, including counseling, parental education, a safety-net support system and a wide referral base.
Baby Basics supplies are distributed from locations in Englewood, Carlstadt, Paramus, Ridgewood, and Garfield, New Jersey.
To be eligible for the program:
- Must be a parent of a child newborn to 2 years old
- One or both parents must live or work in Bergen County
- Acceptance is based on need (income-verified)
- Qualified families are eligible regardless of race, creed or religion
- Infants are referred to Baby Basics through area hospitals, social service organizations and self-referrals
There are so many ways you can choose to help
Whether or not you decide to volunteer your time to Baby Basics, there are myriad ways to make a difference in the lives of these hardworking, yet struggling families.
Diapers, baby formula and wipes are always in huge demand. Baby Basics gratefully accepts donations of all brands of diapers sizes 3, 4, 5 and 6 and is always in need of the following brands of formula: Similac Advance Powder and Simolac Isomil Advance Powder. Buying these items in bulk from discount stores cuts costs considerably. You can also make a cash donation.
Organizing a supply drive is a fun and easy - and rewarding - way to bring a community or house of worship together. Does your child need a community service project for school or the Scouts? Are you planning a birthday party for your son or daughter and want him or her to learn the important life lesson of giving to those less fortunate? Is your company seeking to get more involved in the community? Are you hosting a party for your friends and looking to help others at the same time? These are just a few creative ways for you or your children to lead a supply drive to help the Baby Basics program.
Tips for Running a Supply Drive
- When you decide to organize a drive, please contact the Baby Basics Program at (201) 261-2800. Please give your name and where you would like to conduct the drive.
- If you design your own flyer to announce the drive, please state that Baby Basics is a program run by Children's Aid and Family Services.
- Before you begin, get the permission to conduct a drive from the appropriate individual (Superintendent, Principal, and/or Office Manager).
- GET THE WORD OUT!!! Make flyers, posters, send out e-mails.
- Designate a drop off area. Decorate a large box, bin or use a playpen for the drop-off area. Have fun with this and try to draw attention to the donations. The more people see others dropping off donations, the more likely they will donate, too!
- At the end of the drive, gather all the donations and pack in boxes or bags. Contact the program staff to set up a time for the drop-off or pick-up.
- Please give the program staff all the necessary information regarding who, what, when and where the drive took place so everyone involved can be recognized!
- CONGRATULATIONS!! You have helped many families and their babies in your very own community.
- Checks made out to Children's Aid and Family Services (designated to "Baby Basics" on the subject line) are also appreciated.
A presentation on Baby Basics for Community Groups. Baby Basics power point print version2010.pdf
For more information on the Baby Basics program or to learn how you can help by either donating diapers and formula; making a financial contribution; committing to support a baby for a week, month, or other length of time; organizing a collection drive; volunteering your time; or serving as a liaison with your house of worship, school or employer to provide support for Baby Basics, please contact the program coordinator at 201-740-7009.