Mary’s Cradle wants to offer more free diapers, formula and clothes to more families in Windsor
February 4, 2017
Mary’s Cradle and its mission to provide free diapers, wipes, formula — Enfamil only — food, clothing and community resource information to any and all families in need — regardless of martial status, race, age or religion — relies on donations.
Donated items can be dropped off 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday –through Friday at the Lady of the Valley Catholic Church Hall, 1250 7th St., Windsor.
Donations drive the entire volunteer-run operation, said Project Manager Kathleen Jones. Even the majority of the storage space the program uses is space in a few homes that families donated.
In the first few months of the program Jones kept all the supplies in the back of her car until Milarc Cabinets donated a few floor-to-ceiling cabinets for Mary’s Cradle to use in the church.
Anyone with questions about donation, including how to get items pick up if they can’t make it to the church, should call (970) 686-5084.
By the numbers
Since it opened October 2015 Mary’s Cradle has dispensed:
» 36,505 Diapers — sizes new born to size 6
» 4,717 articles of clothing — sizes new born to size 6
» 1,605 Wipes
» 537 cans of formula — Enfamil only
» 261 Blankets
» 38 Layettes
» 3,395 miscellaneous items — socks, shoes, books, burp clothes, bibs, hats, bottles, toys, diaper bags, etc.
Additional numbers of note
» 914 visits to Mary’s Cradle
» 122 families on file
» 188 children — 115 boys and 73 girls
In little more than a year, Lady of the Valley Catholic Church's Mary's Cradle program gave out more than 36,000 diapers to more than 120 families to help 188 kids.
That's a lot, but Project Manager Kathleen Jones thinks Mary's Cradle can do more.
The program — open to anyone in need regardless of martial status, race, age or religion — gives away free diapers, wipes, formula, food, clothing and community resource information. All any family has to do is fill out a little paperwork with their name, phone number and address.
Each weeks Mary's Cradle opens the door to the small storage room its volunteers uses as a base of operation from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Thursdays at northeast corner of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church Hall, 1250 7th St. in Windsor.
Each day Jones and the other volunteers open about 15 families stop by and pick up their allotment of donated goods, she said.
Windsor has a reputation for being affluent and well off, but there are families in the community need help, Jones said. About 16 percent of students in the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School district qualify for free or reduced lunches based on how much money their families make.
Although 16 percent is certainly lower than other school districts in Weld County — Greeley-Evans School District 6 has 65 percent of its students qualifying for free and reduced lunches — that's still a decent chunk of families in the area that could face financial struggles.
"I know there are families here in Windsor who could use our services," she said. "But we are not getting many Windsorites visiting and we would like to get the word out."
Even with low numbers of Windsor residents, a handful of volunteers stay busy with many families coming from across Weld County to get the bundles of diapers and containers of formula that help them get through the month.
Some families come from as far Pierce or La Salle, Jones said. But most of the families, about 60 percent, come from Greeley and Evans she said. In the last month or two only about 15 percent of the families Mary's Cradle help live in Windsor.
One Windsor resident, Crystal Bodwell, braved the freezing rain Wednesday afternoon to drive to the church and pick up diapers — the most popular item at Mary's Cradle — along with some clothes and toys for her family.
The families who come by don't get enough to live off of, just enough to supplement what they have, Jones said. Every two weeks, Mary's Cradle gives families about enough supplies to cover four day.
"It definitely helps thing last longer," Bodwell said. "A little can go a long way if you know how to use it, how to respect it."
She just recently moved to Windsor and wasn't expecting to have the month-old daughter she has now. It made things a little tougher and it took her awhile to find help, she said. Eventually she heard about Mary's Cradle through her older daughter's school.
The supplies she gets from Mary's Cradle help a lot and make a big difference in her life.
Working with the families, helping them get supplies and often being a friendly listener has been rewarding, Jones said.
"They really are beautiful families," she said. "You can tell they care about their children, they care about their families. They want the best for their kids like all families do."