Dayton Right to Life has operated the Stork’s Nest Baby Pantry since the 1980s. Each year the nonprofit assists over 1,000 families with essentials for their young children, ages newborn to 5 years old.
“Families really struggled in 2020,” says executive director Margie Christie. “Throughout the COVID crisis, we kept our doors open to support families in need. In 2020, we had 424 new families that had never been to our pantry before. Additionally, we gave out over 41,000 diapers, an increase of 10 percent over 2019.”
Christie says the health crisis and subsequent shutdown were devastating for low-income families who already have economic burdens to overcome.
Pantry Coordinator Moriah Patton says families that visit the pantry can typically be seen the same day or within 48 hours. “This makes us a tremendous resource for other social services such as WIC, Catholic Social Services, Help Me Grow, Homefull, Daybreak, and many others,” she says.
A mobile pantry site, located at Victory Christian Church in Kettering, has been busy as well. This site can accommodate families on the weekend and take overflow clients as needed. “Through the generosity of our donors, we can support our main pantry, and our mobile site as well,” says Christie.
The organization also offers community baby showers that provide education. “This type of outreach is so important for our moms,” Christie says. “The moms love being around other moms and having an hour or so of love and attention.”
She says the baby showers and community education events are opportunities to take their organization’s resources on the road. “Transportation is definitely a burden for a lot of our families so we like to bring our resources to their communities and neighborhoods,” she explains. “Churches and recreation centers typically host our baby showers. We bring food and diaper bags that we fill with goodies as play games. We also add an educational element as well, while we have the moms there. We talk about topics such as safe sleep and breastfeeding.”
Here’s what they need
- Pullups, all sizes, girls and boys
- Baby wash/lotion
- Baby washcloths/towels
- Baby wipes
- Toddler pajamas
- Diapers in larger sizes, 4, 5, and 6
- Baby food
- Bottled water
- Toddler clothes/PJs
- Toddler underwear/socks
- Gift cards to Walmart or Meijer
Donations can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays at 425 N. Findlay St., Dayton 45404. Contact Moriah Patton at 937-461-3625 for more information. If you call ahead, you’ll be advised where to leave your donations, typically in the lobby, and they will be picked up later. The organization also offers home pick ups, folks can leave the items on their porch and they will be picked up.
For more information, see www.daytonlife.org. If you click on the BuyBuy Baby button on the main page, you’ll see the baby registry for other needed items. From this site, the items will be shipped right to the pantry.
Other ways to help
Volunteers can help out in the pantry by stocking and preparing outfits for families. The organization is also looking for church liaisons willing to partner and support a mobile pantry at their site.
Those interested in volunteering in the pantry or helping with events can sign up on the website. See www.daytonlife.org
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Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: email@example.com.
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