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Baby-gear donations

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Samuel Stanton, Benjamin Stanton

REUSE AND RECYCLE Mom-of-two Brandi Stanton helps families in need by collecting gently used baby gear from friends and neighbors to donate to local charities. Pictured are her sons Samuel and Benjamin in 2017. (Photo: Sara Stanley Photography)

Buzz Baby is a column about life with little ones. Writer Annie McQueen is a mother of four children under the age of 8.

With a new year here (hello, 2023), it’s a good time to clear out the no-longer-needed baby and kid gear. This month, we decided to compile a list of places that will take gently used baby and kid items for families in need (there are too many in Houston to list them all, but we hope this will be a helpful start).

Buzz mom-of-two Brandi Stanton calls herself a “minimalist” when it comes to keeping items. She has inspired many in her community by connecting parents with places in need of donations.

Brandi’s understanding of parents’ needs started when she became a mom. She and her husband Michael have two boys, ages 5 and 6. After their second child was born, Brandi says they felt their family was complete and, therefore, it was time to purge all the baby items she had so desperately needed in those early days. “Soon enough I had piles upon piles of things we no longer needed, but that was far from being trash,” said Brandi. So, she began to look for ways to pass it on. She scoured the Internet and came up with a list of Houston organizations. Not all places will accept larger baby items such as strollers, so it is handy to know where to take them.

Brandi has organized initiatives such as baby-gear drives and Facebook campaigns to help connect local parents and newly arrived refugees with ways to donate unused kid stuff. First, she recommends offering items to your child’s teachers at school, daycare, and Mother’s Day Out. “Teachers love being able to add new toys, books, and crafts to their rooms,” said Brandi. Cleaning out the gear can also be a great way to teach your child about giving back to others. “My kids are developing their servants’ hearts as well,” said Brandi. Their family has adjusted to a living room full of pending donations from families that she collects. She says when a parent has items to donate but does not know where to take them, she offers to take them herself.

“I know she is working for others when bags and boxes begin to fill the entryway and the dining room,” said Michael.

Samuel Stanton, Benjamin Stanton

GIVING BACK Brothers Samuel and Benjamin surrounded by donations of baby gear that they will help their mom, Brandi, organize and give to local charities.

Where to give your gear

Some Houston organizations that accept baby and kid donations include:

The Source

8153 Long Point Rd., 713-637-4141

The Source is a full-service women’s health clinic. It has two Houston locations, one in Spring Branch and one in the Medical Center. The Spring Branch location accepts items for babies and kids through age 5. Additionally, parents seeking pregnancy and parenting care and education through The Source are eligible to shop at the Baby Boutique. The Source accepts clothes, books, toys, feeding items, baby carriers, and other smaller items in great condition. Typical drop-off times are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call to ask if they have space to take bigger items.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Bellaire Resale Shop

5236 Cedar St., 713-669-9410

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides assistance to individuals in the local community who are in need. Drive-through donations can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Donate gently used baby clothing, books, and toys. Cribs, strollers, playpens are not accepted.

The Gabriel Project

911 Bunker Hill Rd., 713-225-5826

The Gabriel Project, through St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church, helps pregnant women with emotional support, guidance, transportation, housing, financial aid, medical care, and baby necessities. They accept good, used-condition items for babies through age 6 months including clothes, bibs, bottles, feeding supplies, formula, pack-n-plays, small toys, diapers, and breast pumps.

Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM) Resale Store

1625 Blalock Rd., 713-491-4330

MAM provides programs and stability to underserved families and accepts new and gently used items for families in need. They do not accept baby cribs. Donations are accepted Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Oak Forest Foster Closet

1216 Bethlehem St.

A nonprofit ministry of Sojourn Oak Forest Church, this organization provides needed items to foster, kinship, and adoptive families. Families are invited to shop in the closet for items they need. Items specifically needed are listed in their Facebook group or you can post your items in the group, and families can claim the items directly from you. This is a great way to pass along bigger items such as cribs, rocking chairs, high chairs, or play yards.

Foster Village Houston

Foster Village Houston’s Resource Center is located in Old Katy. Similar to Oak Forest Foster Closet, Foster Village Houston uses its Facebook group to allow people to give items in great condition to foster families.

Editor’s note: Know of other ways to donate baby gear? Comment on this story at thebuzzmagazines.com or email [email protected].

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