Help a newborn thrive with a Berkshire Baby Box
Won’t you help us think inside the Box? Berkshire Baby Box is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides a safe sleeping space for newborns, essential items, and an educational component which connects parents to local resources and community support.
We provide a safe sleep space for ALL new Berkshire County babies, in the form of a Box with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet. A similar program has been in place in Finland for over 80 years. We fill our Boxes with items to help a new family get started and to ease the transition to new parenthood. We include 2 Halo Sleep Sacks, baby mittens, a bib, burp cloth and cap, along with an extra sheet.
Additionally, we include diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment, 2 washcloths, baby body wash and a HealthCare and Grooming Kit (nasal aspirator, digital thermometer, soft-tip medicine dispenser, comfort tip medicine spoon with cap, brush, comb, scissors, nail clipper, fingertip toothbrush, and emery boards), sanitary pads, condoms, something for the mama (box of tea and a protein bar) and 2 baby board books.
We are helping to build healthy families, with an educational component tied to distribution of the boxes.
Having a new baby is a challenging time for every family. This acknowledges to ALL moms that parenthood is not easy, and that there is an entire community here to provide support. An all-county program levels out the playing field and removes any stigma from getting help at this critical time.
We connect new moms to support, education, guidance and an introduction to available services and service providers.
Our goal is to have a positive impact, to help families be healthier, more connected to one another and to our community and to be aware of available services and support BEFORE there is a possible crisis
Follow UpWe send a thank you note to all donors.
Donations of $100 or more - we also send a reusable shopping/tote bag with our Berkshire Baby Box logo on it
Where Your Donation GoesWe have an all-volunteer staff and no overhead, so ALL donations will go directly to purchase the contents that go into the Berkshire Baby Boxes. Items include: 2 Halo Sleep Sacks, baby mittens, a bib, burp cloth and cap, along with 2 baby board books, an extra fitted sheet, diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment, 2 washcloths, baby body wash, a 17-piece Health Care and Grooming Kit (nasal aspirator, digital thermometer, soft-tip medicine dispenser, comfort tip medicine spoon with cap, brush, comb, scissors, nail clipper, fingertip toothbrush, and emery boards), post-delivery sanitary pads, condoms and something for the mama (box of tea and a protein bar.)
Due to a large donation of the Boxes themselves (by the Baby Box Company, who manufactures and sells the Boxes), we no longer need to purchase the Boxes.
We spend $50 to fill each Box (this includes donated items and very competitive sourcing) and we expect to provide 1,000 Boxes per year.
Location InformationThe Berkshires, Massachusetts United States (US)
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Further InformationBerkshire Baby Box received the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2017 Excellence Award for a Small Nonprofit, and Berkshire Baby Box President, Hinda Bodinger, was chosen as one of the Berkshire Magazine's "Berkshire 25" as one of the "Most Dedicated, Most Creative and Most Influential" in 2017.
Berkshire Baby Box was started by Berkshire resident Hinda Bodinger as a reaction to the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election campaign. Hinda was raised in a tradition not to stand idly by in the face of injustice and was appalled that our neighbors were feeling unwelcome and unsafe.
She wanted to reach out to mitigate this stance of intolerance, and remembered reading about the Finland Baby Box program and decided to bring this project to the Berkshires to help all families to feel welcome and valued in our community.
There is an educational component tied to distribution of the boxes, which makes it much more than just a feel-good gift.
Every recipient is required to complete the online Berkshire Syllabus on Baby Box University. This is a series of videos on important subjects related to infant and maternal health care and safety.
Topics such as safe sleep techniques, language and child development, post-partum depression and breast feeding support are covered.
Local health care practitioners are featured in these videos. There is a short quiz which must be completed successfully to earn a certificate to obtain a Baby Box.
In addition, we strongly encourage all expectant moms to avail themselves to the many Baby Box workshops offered throughout the county on a regular basis.
Workshops include information about safe sleep (according to the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics), breastfeeding and where to find support, post-partum depression and when to seek help, infant care and self-care, language development, the importance of reading and the critical window of the first 3 years of child development and brain building activities and programs, having a plan in place to deal with frustration, anxiety and stress, etc.
The agencies and organizations who give out our Boxes provide education, guidance and community support and connect families to local resources (and oftentimes, services for which they are eligible.)
We encourage expectant moms to attend workshops to get their Baby Boxes, which not only provides them with valuable information on safe sleep, infant and self-care, but connects these families to one another and to health care providers. We hope this will result in a comfort level where new moms will not hesitate to get the proper health care for themselves and their babies, or to pick up the phone to ask for help.
We believe that these connections are as important as the Box and the contents and are the real success of this initiative.