Every year on or around June 21, tens of thousands of people across the globe volunteer with United Way to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way Day of Action is an opportunity for volunteers, donors, and advocates who seek to change lives and communities to be part of the solutions that make a real difference in people’s lives. – United Way Worldwide
This year on Day of Action, approximately 100 volunteers, along with United Way of the Brazos Valley (UWBV) staff, put together 4,000 Baby Bundles. What is a Baby Bundle? I’m glad you asked!
What’s in a Baby Bundle?
- A board book so parents can start reading to the baby right away
- Reading tips and ideas
- Resources on developmental milestones
- Information on community resources and services
- A small tactile toy
- Available in both English and Spanish
It all started in 2015, when UWBV completed a Community Impact Study to assess the most pressing needs of the Brazos Valley within the areas of health, education, and financial stability. From this study, the Board of Directors developed the United Way’s 2020 Regional Bold Goals to create measurable impact in the Brazos Valley.
- Education Bold Goal: Prepare children, youth, and young adults for career achievement through educational success
- Health Bold Goal: Maximize health and well-being across the Brazos Valley
- Financial Stability Bold Goal: Empower individuals and families towards financial stability
Findings from the Community Impact Study highlighted the importance of kindergarten readiness. A study by the US Dept. of Education (1996) showed that, on average, low-income children have four children’s books in their homes; however, nearly two thirds of the low-income families studied didn’t own any children’s books. Access to printed materials is essential in creating an environment for children to thrive. Children who grow up in homes that have access to educational activities are more primed to begin kindergarten than their peers who do not.
United Way of the Brazos Valley saw this as an opportunity to create an impact for every child in the Brazos Valley starting from birth. In 2015, United Way of the Brazos Valley committed to provide each newborn in the Brazos Valley with their first children’s book, and to serve 20,000 children by 2020. And thus, the Baby Bundle project was born!
Each year on Day of Action, volunteers assemble Baby Bundle tote bags, which are then delivered to the Labor and Delivery Units of local hospitals as well as one birthing center. A Baby Bundle is given to every newborn, regardless of race, religion or socio-economic status, and is available in English and Spanish. Baby Bundles are designed to give parents everything they need to begin their child’s love of reading early!
Help us end bedtime without story time! Support United Way of the Brazos Valley through my Over The Edge page and make a difference in a child’s life today!