Running a busy nonprofit often means having access to a standing army of capable volunteers, ready at a moment’s notice to donate hours from their busy lives. Nobody knows this better than Zakiyyah Mohamed-Stevens, Program Manager of Little Essentials in New York. Little Essentials receives donations from families in New York and works with community partners to distribute children’s supplies to at-risk families living in poverty.
Little Essentials offers at-risk families living in poverty urgently needed children’s supplies and parenting education to promote the health, wellbeing and safety of their children under five years of age.
Donated inventory comes in the door – such as baby strollers, blankets, diapers, and seasonal clothing, and teams of volunteers are needed to prepare the materials for redistribution to shelters, social service agencies, and other community organizations. “Being in New York, when the weather gets cold, we need to be able to get warm clothing to our families – fast,” she adds.
Little Essentials maintains a small staff but finds volunteers on social media, such as their very active Facebook page, a volunteer form on their website, helpful Mommy Groups in the city, and through referrals from partner organizations such as New York City Cares. The challenge is to keep a balance of volunteers and inventory so that needed materials don’t sit idle in the warehouse. “When we get a substantial donation, it’s hard. If we don’t have volunteers to help, our board members are always happy to pitch in on short notice,” she adds.
Little Essentials partnered with Involve and was quickly registered to begin receiving volunteer help. "Involve has helped solve some of our challenges,” shared Zakiyyah. Warehouse Coordinator Tempress Brown led groups of 10 volunteers at a time in their company events, working very closely to educate them on Little Essentials’ mission and the community’s needs. They cleaned strollers, bundled newborn baby items and blankets, and logged donated items in the organization’s inventory tracking platform. “The volunteers have been very interactive and used the event for some team building as well,” Zakiyyah adds. Tempress also worked with Involve to coordinate the first virtual holiday toy-drive for Little Essentials. 36 users were able to donate through Involve and directly send gifts for kids to the warehouse.
“We are definitely looking forward to working with Involve again,” adds Zakiyyah.
Thanks, Zakiyyah and Tempress. We’re excited to support your organization further!
To learn more about how Little Essentials is helping families in New York, visit their website or log in to Involve to access their nonprofit profile.
If you’re a nonprofit and considering Involve as a partner, we would love to include your organization in our database so that volunteers can find you, too. We make it easy for employees to sign up for events and volunteer together. To get started, visit the non-profit page on our website.