Partnership with the Homeless Prenatal Program
It has always been an important value at Stretch to find ways to give back to the community. In the past we have partnered with organizations such as Toys for Tots and The Food Bank to give back during the holiday season. Our community has always been so generous during these efforts and I have often wondered how we could partner in a more permanent way. These efforts have also always brought about wonderful and rich conversations with our students as we have encouraged families to involve the children in the process of choosing a toy or bringing in the food.
While we are open to new service projects our school has chosen Homeless Prenatal Program as our ongoing service partner. HPP has been in existence for 23 years. I met the founder, Martha Ryan, when first coming to know HPP and went on a tour of the main offices. I also met some of those working at HPP and was so impressed with all they are doing to help women and families around the Bay Area.
Their mission is simple and yet so powerful: In partnership with families, break the cycle of childhood poverty. It is clear that they are making a difference in the Bay Area as HPP reaches over 3600 families. They “believe every family wants to deliver healthy babies in a stable and nurturing home.” I was also struck by the number of former clients who are now working for the organization to help others. How powerful it must be to come in for help and be able to find someone who can relate to your needs and emotions.
Learn more about the organization on the HPP website.
How You Can Help
The ways in which we often help are simple and have an immediate impact. There are 3 main efforts that we have chosen to help most. The ways in which we often help are simple and have an immediate impact. There are 3 main efforts that we have chosen to help most.
|When a child transitions out of a stage or out of diapers all together families can bring them to Stretch and we will deliver them to HPP. They often receive infant
diapers which are still very helpful but larger diapers are always needed.
|Holiday Household Items Drive||When a family is first placed in housing they often do not have any household items to bring with them. Each year our families come together to donate the basic needs such as plates, blankets, pillows, or silverware.|
|Old Baby Gear||HPP is continuously in need of old baby gear such as infant bucket seats, strollers, etc. They do not take toys but other gear that families need is welcome. Families can drop these items at Stretch and we make sure they get taken to the HPP offices. This is an ongoing effort throughout the school year.|
I have come to see the classroom as a place
to foster a desire to be lifelong learners and
active community members.