“I think our families would tell you that at Baby Basics, they don’t feel like they are getting a handout, but a hand up from other working Moms and Dads who share some basic common challenges."

Jennifer Lynch Haggerty ’91 is making a difference in the community of South Boston. A mother of two young children, Haggerty understands the financial demands that accompany parenthood and has seen the hardships they can create for families struggling to provide daily necessities.

Working with an organization called Baby Basics, Haggerty and other volunteers in and around South Boston have come together in an effort to ease their neighbors’ financial burdens by providing free diapers to babies and toddlers of working poor families.

The first Baby Basics program was founded in 1992 in Ridgewood, N.J., by Jean Ann Lynch, Haggerty’s mother. Nearly 15 years after the first distribution center was established, Baby Basics has nine centers, serving families in six states. Because of the efforts of volunteers like Haggerty, Baby Basics Inc., has continued to grow, providing financial and emotional support to poor, working Americans.

Before earning her master’s in industrial relations at the University of Minnesota, Haggerty worked for a small software company in New Jersey. Moving to Boston to be with her future husband, John ’91, following graduate school, Haggerty worked in human resources for Fidelity for four years, and then at Microsoft.

Realizing the need for a Baby Basics center in the community of South Boston, her mother and sister opened the South Boston site, and Haggerty joined shortly thereafter.

A unique component of Baby Basics is that 100 percent of all donations received go directly to the purchase of diapers, unless earmarked by the donor to cover administrative costs. Donations go directly toward making a difference in the life of a child, one diaper and one baby at a time.

Through the generosity of their donors, Haggerty and her Baby Basics team provide free diapers for 50 babies in South Boston. In addition to distributing diapers twice monthly, the 11-member board of volunteers strives to provide area families with a support system, offering kindness and community.

“I think our families would tell you that at Baby Basics, they don’t feel like they are getting a handout, but a hand up from other working moms and dads who share some basic common challenges. We talk about everything from potty training to getting kids to eat better to holidays, and in time, our families come to rely on us as trusted friends who are there when they need us most.”

Diaper by diaper, Haggerty and Baby Basics are brightening the future for some South Boston families.

To learn more about Baby Basics, go to www.babybasicsinc.org.

Posted Winter 2007

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