Project 39 began as a labor of love of four amazing Kansas City women: Jenn Bedell, Angie Davids, Angie Smith and Lisa Foley. Approaching their 40th birthdays, these ladies and moms decided they wanted to give back by providing struggling parents the resources they need to raise healthy children.
To meet their goal, they enlisted friends and family to host "Mother of all Happy Hour" events. A simple concept with a profound impact. “The key to the Mother of All Happy Hours is its simplicity. It truly is getting together with friends, bringing some diapers and laundry detergent. You make a difference by getting together with people you enjoy,” replied Project 39 founding member Angie Smith.
This year, happy hour hostesses collected 16,335 diapers; 40,328 baby wipes; 5,629 loads worth of laundry detergent; numerous toys, clothes and books; and $6,136 to purchase larger items like strollers and baby cribs. These donated items support The Family Conservancy’s Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids program - serving as much-needed supplies for the earned-based Mother’s Market. By attending classes, participants earn “baby bucks” that can be exchanged for items at the store.
Because of this generous effort, two families with newborns have been able to continue breastfeeding - keeping their babies on a healthy diet while saving money. One mother received a breast pump that she would not otherwise have been able to afford. Another mom was on the verge of giving up breast-feeding on account of not being able to afford the diapers. (Healthy breastfeeding babies use more diapers than formula-fed babies.) She was trying to save by keeping the dirty diapers on the baby longer, and the baby developed diaper rash. After accessing the store, she was able to treat the rash with donated diaper cream, get extra diapers, and continue to breastfeed her baby.
Another mother in the program has a two-year-old child and a six-month old baby in the hospital with heart issues. The baby's illness has prevented the mother from working. Without her pay, she cannot afford diapers for the toddler, and was taping together newborn diapers for her two-year-old. With the "baby bucks," this mother is able to visit The Family Conservancy’s offices and get larger diapers to fit her toddler.
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