January 9, 2011; Source: Oakland Tribune | Loved Twice, an Oakland, Calif., nonprofit that donates baby clothes to new mothers who can't afford to buy them, has seen its share of love from the media since its founding in 2007. Lisa Klein, the group's founder has been on the Today Show, featured twice in People magazine, and been written about in the Huffington Post.
But despite all that attention and accolades, the group hasn't seen that love reciprocated in the form of donations of cash to keep operating. Klein says she needs at least $50,000 to cover insurances, supplies, and other expenses, including salary for an employee, or she'll be out of business by June. After failing to win support from some 92 different organizations – foundations, companies, community service organizations and women's clubs – she is down to her last $6,000.
Klein says if she's forced to close, "It will not be me that suffers, it will be the thousands of tiny babies born into a world without resources that will go without. Closing our doors would be frustrating because I have the passion, energy, volunteers and a constant supply of baby clothes."
Over the past several years, Loved Twice has given away more than 25,000 pounds of baby clothes. According to the Oakland Tribune, a typical donation to a new mother contains about 75 items, including socks, hats, pants, books, shirts, sleepwear, valued at about $225.
Misty Schultz, a social worker with the Alta Bates Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Hayward, Calif., says it's important for Loved Twice to keep handing out those clothes. "The result of her (Klein's) generosity is invaluable for our families – to leave the hospital with dignity and have a box full of clothing that will last them several months. If it went away, it would be terrible for the families."
Klein wants to do more than just stay in business. She wants to expand from the wet 500-square-foot basement in her home that serves as her base of operations to three times that space so she could store more clothes and provide a safe and comfortable environment where volunteer moms could help sort items, pack boxes, and deliver them to hospitals, shelters and prenatal clinics. Says Klein, "If I had a space this could grow so much." All it takes is a little money and a lot of love.—Bruce Trachtenberg