Before I became involved in It Takes a Village, Baby, I was a different person. I believed in my heart that there was goodness in the world, but that people in general were too cynical to demonstrate that kindness. I was one of those people – I let the scope of the problems overwhelm and essentially paralyze me into inaction.
In late 2014, I committed myself to making It Takes a Village, Baby a full-fledged charitable organization – something with longevity and the capability to grow into the vision I have for it. Without the amazing dedication of volunteers like Emily who runs our FB page and website, Molly who keeps us organized and helps ensure no applicant slips through the cracks, Missy, Kia, Kelly, Laura and Tammy who (in addition to the myriad of other contributions they make to us every month) have given up their homes as drop points and overflow storage space, Kate, Meg and Lacy who work to cultivate an on-going relationship with the families we help – none of this would be possible.
Running It Takes a Village, Baby truly does take a village. On any given day Sandy, Meg, Laura, or any number of us might be at the storage units pulling items to deliver to a family in need. We send dozens (okay, sometimes hundreds) of emails to each other on a daily basis to ensure everything is taken care of. We have committees for fundraising, events, budgets, operations, community, outreach, and now marketing. We have monthly group-wide meetings that stretch late into the night, in addition to all the committee meetings.
ITAVB works incredibly hard to do our best to serve the moms and dads and legal guardians who contact us for help. We have a team of Spanish translators helping us reach into the Hispanic community. We even have an Arabic/French speaking translator helping us ensure one of our moms and her baby has everything she needs. In short, when we see a problem, we work to solve it. We are determined to be there for moms no matter what.
Sadly, there are problems that are too big for us. There are struggles that go beyond our abilities to mitigate. There is evil that we cannot hide from. One thing I never dreamed of when this all began was the heartache that would be involved in helping other people; but rest assured, there is heartache. And today, we are hurting as one village. Not everyone has had the privilege of getting to know this particular little guy and his mom, but we are crying together, because we are in this together. We do what we do to help the tiniest, newest members of our community flourish; right now we are witnessing the exact opposite.
No matter how much I give to a mom I always wonder, if it was enough. Could I have done more? Every single time I do a delivery I tell them “if you need anything please get in touch, I’m sorry I couldn’t give you more”. And I mean it. I’m always sorry I couldn’t do more. All I can do is pray for Ethan and his mother Stacy. Praying is not something I am familiar with or comfortable with but today it is all I can offer. I cannot do more and yet I would do anything to fix this. Ethan and Stacy, with all my heart I am sending you my love and prayers and hopes and wishes.