Baby Basics provides hygienic essentials to babies and a system of emotional support and referrals for families, thereby increasing their opportunity to succeed. It is well documented that early intervention with infants is one of the best preventatives for their failure to thrive.
The first Baby Basics was founded in Ridgewood, N.J. in 1992. There are 15 additional Baby Basics affiliates across the United States. All the programs are run by volunteers and are supported by corporate and private donations. Baby Basics does not receive any governmental funding. 100% of all contributions go toward the purchase of diapers, unless earmarked by the donor to cover administrative costs.
The Sarasota County program was founded in 2007. Since then we have served many babies and their families. We currently serve 70 at our Sarasota distribution center and another 31 at our Venice center. We are also committed to literacy: we distribute to our families hundreds of books that are donated by our members, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Sarasota Co. library system.
The annual retail cost of diapers for one baby averages more than $750. Our families, who are struggling to make ends meet, must often make tough monthly decisions about how to spend their money. These decisions may include whether to pay the bills, buy food and medicine, or buy enough diapers to change their baby frequently enough so as to prevent diaper rash. Our purpose is to supply diapers on a monthly basis for up to three years (or until the child ages out of diapers) in order to enhance the health and safety of the child and reduce our families' financial burden and the stress that accompanies it.
Also, as a partner with the Sarasota Library Association's Born to Read Program, we promote literacy and regularly distribute books to our families.
Baby Basics, Inc. was recognized in April 2005 in an article in the Boston Globe.
The program was featured in July 2005 on the "Morning Edition" of National Public Radio and in the fall of 2005 in an article entitled, "What Works," in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
All this national publicity prompted the creation of a national program called Baby Basics National Development Corp.
In 2008 founder Jean Ann Lynch received the prestigious Jefferson Award for Outstanding Service to the Community.