“Service is the rent we pay for living.” ~Marian Wright Edelman
I recently had the great honor of being an invited guest at the 10th Anniversary Gala for Jessica Seinfeld’s incredible charity, Baby Buggy, an event which was held on December 5th right here in New York City at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center. A Night of Comedy with Jerry Seinfeld & Friends featured top-notch performances from three of the best in the business: Colin Quinn, Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld, with George Stephanopoulos as Master of Ceremonies. The show was out of this world, and the Seinfelds’ warm hospitality at the after-party was so kind. My date and I were so honored to be included, and I have considered it nothing but a privilege to support such an efficient, successful and selfless organization over these past few years. I’m sure you know of the organization if you live in the tristate area and/or follow me on Twitter, but if Baby Buggy is new to you for whatever reason, please allow me to have the honor of explaining that this wonderful charity has, over the past ten years, distributed over five million pieces of children’s clothing and necessary gear to families in need in New York City. It is truly staggering to think how much it costs to raise a child safely, and how important stuff can really be–warm coats, strollers, bassinets. For example, if a family has two children who are very close in age and one is a baby or toddler, and you cannot afford a cab, then the lack of a stroller can prevent a family from attending a crucial appointment with their doctor. Families are separated and children are removed from their homes and placed into foster care for lack of these items, so while it’s easy to think of these things as “just stuff,” Baby Buggy is truly saving the American family every day.
This remarkable accomplishment, which resulted in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declaring December 5th, 2011 to be “Baby Buggy Day” in New York City (and the Empire State Building to be lit up in Baby Buggy’s beautiful signature pastels of green and blue), is truly due to the vision and ingenuity of one woman, my sweet friend and mentor Jessica Seinfeld. When her first child was born in 2001, she and her husband, writer and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, were showered with gifts from generous friends–and immediately stunned by how quickly their daughter grew out of her clothes. As the daughter of a social worker, Jess couldn’t bear to throw these things away, but found it logistically difficult to donate used baby gear in New York City. So, she began what she thought was going to be a weekend drive. After the donations started pouring in, Baby Buggy grew to be the absolute best option for donating new and gently used clothing and gear for children ages 0-14 in New York City and five other major American cities. As human rights have always been a major focus of this blog; it’s my honor to share with you the details of this wonderful organization.
Ten years later, tremendous growth has been made possible due to major donors such as the always delightful Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos, fabulous events like the one I attended this month, the work of approximately 20,000 volunteers, and a phenomenal social media campaign headed by another dear friend of mine, Baby Buggy Executive Director Katherine Snider–a campaign of which I am humbled and delighted to be a part. Thanks to the selfless dedication of everyone involved–especially Jess and Katherine–the charity initiative that was initially supposed to be a weekend drive in Manhattan is now a major 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves needy families in not just New York City, but also Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C. and Dallas. A snapshot of those helped can be found here. All of us who consider ourselves extended members of the Baby Buggy family are so proud of Jessica and everything that she has accomplished. It takes a remarkable, salt of the Earth human being to do the work that she does, and we are all better for it.
This is the HBO-produced video that we had the privilege of viewing before the show:
It is now a holiday tradition for me to send members of my extended family donations to Baby Buggy in their names, which you can do here. If you live in New York City, you can organize a pick-up at your home to donate your gently used goods, purchased within the last three years. Or, you can schedule an appointment to drop your items off at the Baby Buggy warehouse during typical banker’s hours (Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). They are located at 306 W. 37th Street btw. 8th and 9th Ave, 8th Floor, and you may schedule that appointment for either a pick-up or drop-off by calling 212-736-1777. Please note that there is a tax-deductible courier fee for a pick-up, to minimize the cost to the organization and to keep Baby Buggy running efficiently. Please also read the list of acceptable items and their acceptable condition here before you donate.
To donate or learn more about financial contributions, please contact Stella Domenech at email@example.com or 212-736-1790.
To learn about corporate in-kind donations, please contact Justin Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-736-1773.
To learn more about corporate giving and the various ways to partner with Baby Buggy, please contact Lisa Kussell at email@example.com or 212-736-1775.
To keep up with happenings, watch the Press & Events page, and please follow ED Katherine Snider on Twitter @LoveRecycled, and follow Founder and President of the Board Jessica Seinfeld @JessSeinfeld.
Here are a few more fun clips from the 10th Anniversary Gala. If you’re interested in another way to give back as you do your holiday shopping, you can find that here. As always, you can see what I’m up to at Laurie Beth’s Grotto. You can also check out the site overview and Twitter.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
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