Friday, January 25, 2008

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

After filling my car up with baby items on Capitol Hill for the second time, I am starting to understand the power of an organization. Glenda and the other girls in the Arlington teen parenting program will be the lucky recipients of this bounty.

On Monday night I happened to mention my search for a stroller and other baby items to my wonderful yoga teacher Leyla, who lives and works on Capitol Hill. She has a young daughter of her own, but it turns out more importantly she is part of an organization of mothers called Moms on the Hill (MotH). She went home and issued the following message:

Dear MOTH,

A good friend of mine is helping a nineteen years old mom from
Guatemala take care of her 7-day old daughter. She is in desperate
need of any baby items.

My friend, Barbara Diskin, can pick-up these items from your home. If
you have anything you could donate (clothes 3 months and up, books,
toys, stroller, etc), please contact Barbara at


And the offers started flowing into my inbox. I scheduled pick-ups yesterday and today and finally had to turn down offers of assistance.

As my husband said, many of these items don’t even look used. There are two strollers, two carseats, a jumper, a bathtub, diapers, formula, blankets, toys, and lot of clothes. There are hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

Invariably each donor thanked me profusely for helping her clean out and get rid of unneeded items. My “you are welcome” included the invitation to contact me in the future if more things were surplused.

This experience finally makes sense of the warehouses of teddy bears and backpacks that we heard about after hurricane Katrina. It’s the multiplying effect of generosity.

My job tonight is to go through all this stuff (which is pretty much covering my family room floor) and determine what to give to Glenda, what to save for the future (like the jumper that’s not to be used before 4 months), and what to pass on to the other girls for their babies.

We live in a place where many people have more than they need and are only too willing to share with others. I’m just happy to be the conduit for this batch of plenty.


Blogger Ulysses said...

Speaking of conduit, and other things electrical, I think I've got some outlet covers for baby-proofing lying around the workshop. I'll check tomorrow.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Ulysses -- Good idea! If you find them, let me know and I can stop by to pick them up.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

MOTH is a formidable organization. It was this group of women who got DC to look into the lead levels in tap water a couple of years ago. You don't want to get on their bad side, believe me!

I'm lucky to be in their good graces which is why I get to work with so many pregnant women and moms of all stripes on the Hill.

MOTH is mighty! Believe it!

9:08 AM  
Blogger Aileen said...

Barbara, as I read about your adventures over the past year, I continue to be impressed and inspired.

Your retirement seems to be full of exploration and making a difference! Kudos to YOU!

10:53 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- It's funny that I never realized how many children live on the Hill. There are beautiful babies behind so many of those lovely old doors.

Aileen -- Unfortunately what I'm doing hardly scratches the surface of what is begging to be done, but I have to hope every little bit helps.

10:12 PM  

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