In 2001, after giving birth to her daughter, author and philanthropist Jessica Seinfeld realized a fundamental problem in the distribution of baby gear. Seinfeld realized that some families have more than they need or things they no longer need while others don’t have what is necessary to keep a baby happy and healthy.
As a result of this disparity, Seinfeld founded Baby Buggy in 2001. Baby Buggy works with a network of over 50 community-based organizations (CBOs) to distribute new and gently used essentials: from cribs and strollers to clothing and bottles, all of which are vetted for safety.
“I just saw it as an opportunity to help ease this burden for other mothers who are struggling by redistributing basic necessities,” Seinfeld said in a recent interview with Examiner. “Because of our extensive network, Baby Buggy has donated over 4.9 million items to hundreds of children since its inception,” she added.
The core mission is very simple: to provide essential gear, clothing, and products for infants and young children in need. Baby Buggy picks up items directly from individual donors’ homes for a fee, or donors may bring their gently used items to Baby Buggy’s warehouse. During the workweek, donations are sorted, organized, assembled, patched and prepared for donation by the organization’s program staff and volunteers.
Seinfeld has a long history of philanthropic work. Seinfeld’s mother was a social worker and both of her parents volunteered and had her and her sisters participating in charity work from a very early age. Seinfeld has carried these traditions into her family with her own kids. “It is very important to Jerry and me that our children do their party to give back to the community as well,” she said.
Baby Buggy has also expanded their distribution of goods to other cities, to serve children up to age 12, and to provide services like financial literacy classes and benefits screenings to recipient parents. Baby Buggy recently started a new Fatherhood Initiative to help non-custodial fathers become a positive presence in the lives of their kids. All of Baby Buggy’s services can be obtained through social service organizations like the Nurse Family Partnership. Baby Buggy works with the partnership to make sure the goods are reaching the right families.
Baby Buggy is located on West 38th Street in Manhattan but has partner sites in every borough in New York City and 6 cities across the country including D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Dallas. You can donate directly to a Baby Buggy’s site or go online to the website to make a financial donation.
In addition to founding Baby Buggy over ten years ago, Seinfeld has also authored two books about food and family meals called “Deceptively Delicious and Double Delicious!” Deceptively Delicious is a #1 New York Times Best Seller and as a result of this success, Seinfeld launched a website Do It Delicious that includes various recipes, meal ideas and a blog.
With all that Seinfeld is doing to help make families and babies healthier and happier, her biggest and most important job is being a mom to her own three beautiful children.
In November, Team Baby Buggy will be running the NYC Marathon to help raise awareness and funds for our work on behalf of NYC’s most vulnerable families. Baby Buggy is also planning their 10th Anniversary celebration with a performance by Jerry Seinfeld in December of this year. You can follow Baby Buggy on Facebook and on Twitter to stay in touch with all programs and services the organization has to offer.