Community Spotlight: Baby Hope

Storage at Baby Hope in Harrisonburg
Storage at Baby Hope in Harrisonburg(WHSV)
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 5:24 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Hope Distributed is a nonprofit in Harrisonburg, dedicated to feeding, clothing, and providing hope to those in need in the area.

One of the organization’s branches seeing an increased need right now is looking to help the youngest members of those families.

“We help caretakers in the community that are having trouble making ends stretch to be able to provide the necessities that their new little ones or their toddlers need,” Baby Hope Administrator Ellen Braun said.

Items like diapers, baby shampoo and lotion, and even ‘new mom kits’ which include onesies, bibs, and blankets.

Braun says Baby Hope serves between 40 and 50 families each month, and recently the rise in prices for baby and toddler items has increased that need.

“I was sticker shocked when I went and had to buy the baby lotion and the baby shampoo and the baby bath and now I truly understand why these moms are having the issues that they’re having,” Braun said.

The nonprofit is also struggling to get donations of sanitary items for babies and toddlers, which Braun says is one of their biggest needs right now.

But, it’s not just moms Baby Hope is helping. Grandmothers, aunts, and single dads all visit the pantry, and most of the time caretakers need help with more than just things for their little ones.

“They don’t have transportation so they’re not eating properly so we’ve been able to incorporate them into our food pantry delivery and so when we take their food we drop off their baby or their toddler items,” Braun said.

Around 120 individuals also visit the free clothing pantry each month, and another big need in the winter months is cold weather gear like coats, snowsuits, hats, and gloves of all sizes.

Braun says no matter how the organization is helping families in the area, doing whatever she and other volunteers can do to make things easier is the ultimate goal.

“We now know them on a first-name basis they know us on a first-name basis. They know that if they at least ask that we will do what we can and I think just the relationships that we have built what have really been our greatest reward out of that,” Braun said.

There are plenty of ways to get involved with Baby Hope and Hope Distributed as a whole, and you can find more information on those opportunities here.