Philanthropy A to Z
Showcasing Cape Cod’s nonprofit organizations from A to Z.
- A – A Baby Center
- B – Big Brothers Big Sisters
- C – Cape Cod Daring Dolphin Rescue
- D – Dogs: MSPCA
- E – Environments: Mass Audubon Society & Salt Pond Areas Bird Sanctuaries
- F – Family Pantry of Cape Cod
- G – Gosnold
- H – Habitat for Humanity
- I – Island Housing Trust
- J – Jazz, Jams & Jokes
- K – Katelynn’s Closet
- L – Lyme Awareness
- M – Main Streets
- N – Neighborhood Falmouth
- O – Osterville Village Library
- P – Professionals: Cape Cod Young Professionals
- Q – Quadricentennial Commemoration
- R – Resilience
- S – Seaside Le Mans
- T – Troops: Cape Cod Cares for the Troops
- U – United Way
- V – Volunteer: AmeriCorps
- W – WE CAN
- X – Xs and Os: Flower Angels
- Y – YMCA
- Z – Zion Union Heritage Museum
A – A Baby Center
Text by Allyson Plessner
“When a baby is happy, the whole family is happy. And, when they’re miserable? Well, the whole family is pretty miserable too,” laughs Robin Hayward, director of A Baby Center. Founded 20 years ago, A Baby Center used to operate out of a closet where a group of people of faith who saw a real need in their community would collect diapers, wipes and other infant necessities to distribute to struggling families. In that first month, the group expected to help maybe 500 babies a year. Today, A Baby Center, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit program of the Cape Cod Council of Churches, serves around 500 babies a month out of their location in Hyannis.
“Our mission is to partner with other local organizations to make sure that the needs for families with babies are met. We hope that by relieving the stress of purchasing baby necessities, we can help build happier, healthier families in the community who have the opportunity to bond with and care for their children without worrying about making difficult decisions like whether to buy food or diapers for the week,” says Hayward. Qualifying families can visit A Baby Center once every 30 days for supplies like diapers, wipes, and food. The center also provides each child with four to five premade outfits along with a book and small toy, and has apparatuses like strollers and highchairs available as well. The Center refers to WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) guidelines to determine if a family is financially eligible for A Baby Center’s services, but as Hayward explains, “We don’t say no to people in need. There are many different ways that people can qualify.”
Before the recent coronavirus pandemic, families in need would visit A Baby Center for an initial “intake” appointment, where the staff would determine the family’s needs and begin to build a relationship with them. With new restrictions in place, A Baby Center is currently operating as a walk-up service center. “That’s what people need right now,” says Hayward, explaining that families in need of extended services can still call to speak with someone at the center.
“Families that were already in crisis were hit hard by the pandemic,” continues Hayward. “Before, we would give a family one-week’s worth of diapers at a time. Now, we’ve doubled the amount of diapers, wipes and formula that we hand out.” In fact, A Baby Center has stocked up on so many supplies for those in need that they outgrew their storage area. There’s now an entire hangar at the Hyannis airport filled with boxes of diapers, thanks to the generosity of Cape Air.
“I love meeting new people and creating new partnerships throughout our community,” says Hayward about her role at A Baby Center. “Our partnership with Cape Cod Healthcare allows me to give families car seats; our relationship with Cape Air lets me give out enough diapers to get people through the pandemic. To see a family that’s been struggling leave our center with a smile on their face is so rewarding.”
To learn more about A Baby Center, visit ababycenter.org. And, visit shop.capecodlife.com, their website or your local gift shop to purchase a Marieluise Hutchinson Christmas card or ceramic tile and support A Baby Center’s holiday fundraiser.
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