The White Pony General Store: Black Infant Health Program
Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Background: The White Pony General Store Baby Backpack program provides high quality bags filled with diapers, soft baby clothes and blankets, toys and infant-care products, along with new outfits for the mothers and toys for the siblings. These are gifted to new moms in a loving effort to support them in this important new chapter of their lives. One vehicle for this support is through the County’s Black Infant Health Program.
A Day in the Life of the White Pony General Store. By Candice DeVisser:
The date is July 8, 2020. We are four months into the post-pandemic world. We have received our fourth wave of requests for Baby Backpacks with twice as many requests coming in at twice the speed!
Today’s request: 15 backpacks (180 pieces of clothing and new baby supplies).
We clear our infant racks. We carefully coordinate outfits with the pieces that remain. A couple pairs of wild-patterned pants and a puffer coat (undeliverable in the July heat) are the only items that remain in the layette section of the Children’s Department. We fold the bundles of clothing and carefully tie ribbon so that spiraled ringlets and bows make each bundle into a present for the new mama! We place them in the backpacks and tuck infant toys, baby wash, and the last of our infant blankets into the remaining space.
We line up the backpacks at the front of the store and call the agency for pickup. WPGS has had the privilege of serving this agency four times since the pandemic hit. When other agencies slowed to rebalance, this agency sped up in anticipation of the mounting needs.
What does tomorrow hold?
What is a sustainable way to continue to serve the new mamas who do not have the means to make these purchases? These women need to focus their attention on the new life they will welcome into the world, not basic necessities for their survival. We leave for the night focused on how to secure the means to serve the next wave.
The next day is Christmas in July! Eight big bags - overfull. We unpack them with mounting excitement and find designer baby clothes in a rainbow of colors! Onesies, playsuits, sets, dresses, fleece vests, bibs, hats… Thousands of dollars in brand new merchandise.
These special friends supplied us with the soft baby clothes, the totes and backpacks, and the baby products:
Dena Designs - Dena Fishbein provided an array of high-quality baby items.
Rose Wright Design - Rose Wright contacted WPGS to donate the baby bounty that was lovingly packaged and shared with the community.
When we most need clothing and supplies for our friends in need, loving community members appear and we are able to fulfill their needs. On this day in July, the need for infant clothing was satisfied; however, we have an ongoing need for baby clothes, backpacks/totes, and blankets.
This has inspired the WPGS team to create an Amazon Wish List. Not surprisingly, our amazing volunteer team and family supporters in the Lamorinda community were the first to donate to the Baby Backpacks Wish List. Now it is time to give the larger community an opportunity to participate in the Baby Backpacks Program, providing low-income moms with the items they need to step into new-motherhood.
In this changed world, we embrace opportunities to connect with our larger community, especially as it grows with new life… All of us, taking care of all of us.
Here’s to the Mamas!
"I am so happy to be able to receive this baby backpack! It has so much good stuff in it...everything that I can use for my baby. I have not been able to buy many things for her. I am so grateful! Thank you While Pony!"
“I did not expect to receive anything for my baby! What a great surprise. I am so thankful. I'm going to use my backpack for his diaper bag. Thank you very much White Pony for this great donation."
"Aww how sweet. This is my first baby and I really did not realize the cost of providing for a little one! I'm not working and have only been able to purchase the bare minimum of what I need. This is like hitting the lottery. Thank you very much!"
Newborn Baby Backpacks include:
4 onesies: long sleeve and/or short sleeve.
2 – 0-3 months
1 – 3 months
1 – 6 months
3 sleepers or equivalent
1 – 0-3 months
1 – 3 months
1 – 6 Months
4 pairs of booties or socks, assorted sizes
2 small blankets (receiving blankets or swaddles)
1 large blanket – bassinet or crib size
1 package of newborn disposable diapers
1 soft infant toy
2 hats, 1 small, 1 big
1 backpack – neutral, pink or blue
Optional – baby wash, bath towel, wash cloth
Backpacks containing the essentials for a baby’s first 3-6 months are valued at $200.
Amazon link to Baby Backpacks Wish List: https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/MW1CJDUQYBUE/ref=smi_cl_lol_lls2_ls2
To learn more or contribute, please contact Candice DeVisser at firstname.lastname@example.org.