Little Hands Virginia operates four programs. Click on the buttons below to jump to the program you are interested in.
Diaper + Distribution
Child Safety Fund
Diaper Bag Project
INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN
Little Hands Virginia’s provides individualized support to families for their young children. Working through our network of 70+ partners, Little Hands identifies essential, specific items for a child to ensure they are clean, healthy and cared for.
Every item we provide serves a purpose – whether to provide comfort, support development, encourage early literacy, or promote safety.
Throughout the year we take in new and gently-used in-kind donations from the community which volunteers help to sort and store for us until needed. At Little Hands, one of our guiding mottos is “Quality is dignity.” We make sure that every item meets our quality standard.
We also purchase items to keep our shelves stocked and make sure we have critically needed items through partnerships with wholesale companies including McKesson, and receive bulk donations of diapers and other items through our partnership with Baby2Baby.
Each request is carefully packed by a volunteer or staff member. In every request we make sure to include at least one age appropriate book and toy for the child. By doing so, we play a role in helping more economically disadvantaged children reach critical developmental milestones, including encouraging reading to children at a young age and learning through play.
In 2022, Little Hands filled over 1,600 direct requests for assistance from our partners, delivered by our army of over 200 volunteers.
We seek to reduce barriers to receiving support from Little Hands, by delivering items directly to our partners to quickly get to the family. Many partners find immense value in this program as a way to build rapport and relationships with the communities and families they serve.
DIAPER BANK PROGRAM
Diapers are not basic – they are essential. Little Hands Virginia regularly stocks diapers and other basic essentials for partners across the region to distribute. By providing diapers to partners we are helping end diaper need in our community.
Little Hands distributes up to 30,000 diapers each month, ending diaper need for 500-1,000 children in Central Virginia each month. Since launching our expanded diaper bank program in May of 2023, we have distributed almost 200,000 diapers to 50 partners in the community.
Where are our diapers going? Each month, diapers are delivered to area hospitals for children coming into the emergency room with diaper rash and other health or abuse issues; to organizations holding community walks or distributions to rapidly provide diapers to families in need; to local agencies for the families and children they are working with experiencing diaper need; and, to other diaper banks and diaper closets in our community to supplement their supply so that they have all the sizes they need each month.
Our diaper bank program is available to all of our 70+ partner organizations to distribute throughout the community. For organizations, agencies and programs to receive bulk diapers form Little Hands, they must attend a one-time training. We also require monthly impact reports so we can understand how our diapers are impacting the community, where they are going, and hear about any new trends or issues impacting families and children.
CHILD SAFETY FUND
Little Hands Virginia developed the Child Safety Fund in 2022 recognizing the need for an organization in Central Virginia to strategically distribute certain items that are a significant cost barrier to low-income families but are critical to keeping children safe – including pack n plays, car seats, strollers, and high chairs.
Little Hands has recently received grants from the Robins Foundation and the city of Richmond to directly support our child safety program and thisyear we are strategically ramping up the distribution of these items to low-income families.
We are the region’s emergency supplier of car seats. While the Virginia Department of Health operates a low-income safety seat program (which provides one car seat for free to low-income families), not every family has access to this program for a variety of reasons.
We want to ensure every family is transporting their young children safely in the car. Reasons we often address car seat need include: newborns about to be discharged from the hospital; families identified by a police officer or sheriff’s deputy as being in need of a car seat; unable to attend the required class obtain a car seat; the program is unavailable in their locality; or, for another reason the parent unable to get one through their local health department but has verified by a social worker as need based.
We also want to make sure every child has a safe place to sleep at night. Pack n plays are one of our most requested “gear” items from partners to reduce the chance of SIDS and make sure young children sleep in an age appropriate environment. For most of the families we serve, pack n plays are a much more reasonable sleeping solution than a crib because of small or transitional living situations. Pack n plays also help provide a safe place to set a mobile child down for a small amount of time.
Strollers and highchairs are other critical gear items to increase safety and assist with reaching developmental milestones. The Greater RIchmond region is not a public transportation-friendly area and families who do ride the bus often have to walk far distances in one direction or the other. Strollers help families safely move their children from point A to point B, and also get out of the house and do things with their children. High chairs, and learning to eat and sit, are another big developmental milestone for children that we are helping reach.
If you are a partner or potential funder interested in learning more about the Child Safety Fund, please reach out to Taylor Keeney.
The Diaper Bag Project
*NEW IN 2023* More information is coming soon!
This year we will be launching “The Diaper Bag Project,” a new initiative to provide a diaper bag filled with basic essentials to economically disadvantaged families that need one in the region. Little Hands soft launched this program in Q4 of 2022, and will be announcing more information soon.
If you are interested in holding a donation drive to help us kick-off The Diaper Bag Project, more information is below.
The Diaper Bag Project Drive:
Consider holding a drive to help stuff diaper bags for The Diaper Bag Project. We regularly package all of this up for new babies and now are going to keep them ready to go in the office. Hold a drive for all or some of these items to help us assemble the diaper bags, or hold a drive to fully assemble diaper bags before bringing them to our office. This can be done as gender neutral or gender specific.
Stuff a Diaper Bag
(all items must be new)
Wipes (1 package)
We maintain an Amazon Wish List specifically for The Diaper Bag Project here: https://a.co/gvfoqyD. All of these items are also available at places like Target and Walmart for low prices.