COLORADO SPRINGS — We all remember a few months back when we saw empty shelves at the grocery store, and people were buying items in bulk. Baby supplies were among them, and with those sold out, low-income families who needed them were at a loss.
But organizations in town are teaming up to provide those baby items - and you can help, too.
Catholic Charities is running a baby item donation drive in collaboration with the nonprofits Pikes Peak United Way, Crossfire Ministries, COSILoveYou and Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center.
Between late March and early April, FEMA delivered thousands of pounds of baby items to the State of Colorado to make up for the shortage. Catholic Charities told News5 they got about a dozen palette of those items.
But that was then, and baby supplies are still a big need right now, so they are asking folks to help donate. If you're interested, you can help by donating baby diapers of any sizes, baby wipes, and baby formula or pouches of baby food.
You can drop those off at Catholic Charities Marian House & Hanifen Center (located at 14 W. Bijou St.) or at Mt. Carmel (located at 530 Communication Circle). Catholic Charities is accepting donations from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and their phone number is (719) 636-2345.
Donations are typically directed to the loading dock at Marion House Soup Kitchen in downtown Colorado Springs.
Unlike other donations drives, in this case, Catholic Charities says actual supplies are needed more than monetary donations.
That's because even when low-income families had assistance to buy baby items, they were simply weren't in stock.
"Even people who are receiving food stamps, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) , and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) assistance, they had the coupons for those things, they had the EBT (Electronic Benefit Card) cards for those things but they just couldn't access them," said Lorri Orwig, senior vice president of Operations at Catholic Charities of Central Colorado. "And so we've been able to get those kind of donations and make them available."
In order to make these items available, the organizations helping collect these items connect with other childcare and early childhood agencies to make sure all these supplies get to those families quickly.