A new Richmond-area nonprofit called Little Hands Virginia launched Thursday. The group aims to provide low-income moms with essential baby items. Founder Taylor Keeney says she came up with the idea for the nonprofit while going through some of her two-year-old son’s stuff.
“I was cleaning out our son’s closet when he was getting out of the baby phase and we literally had boxes of unused bottles and other baby gear that I knew we were ready to pass on,” Keeney said.
She wanted the baby gear to go directly to a mom in need, free of charge. But it wasn’t easy to find out how to make that connection.
“It took sifting through other nonprofits’ websites or calling other social service offices. And a lot of people want it to be easy [to donate] and that’s kind of the goal of this,” Keeney said. “It’s going to be coordinated, it’s going to be year-round and it’s going to be really easy for busy families to do the same thing.”
That’s why Keeney is partnering with local social services agencies, hospitals and shelters to take direct requests. She’s taking donations for everything from baby clothing to high chairs.
Katie Vance Lucas is a liason for Richmond’s department of social services, helping connect families in need to services from non-profits like Little Hands Virginia.
“The biggest need has been knowing that there are specific things needed, but not knowing how to get those things in a timely manner,” Lucas said. “If we know we need a car seat tomorrow, we can go straight to Taylor and she’d be able to fill that need.”
Keeney says they’re storing donations in a storage unit, and coordinating with people like Lucas to make sure items get delivered to families. She says they’ve already had requests for things like diapers and strollers.
“One of our first requests was for a mom that needs a double stroller because she walks everywhere with her kids and it needs to fold up and go on the bus,” Keeney said. “It’s really basic stuff that we often take for granted.”