Our History and National Expansion
Baby Buggy was founded in 2001 by Jessica Seinfeld shortly after the birth of her first child. Jessica searched for a mechanism to redistribute the clothing and gear her daughter, and friends’ children, had outgrown so the donations would directly benefit families in need. She found that a need existed for these types of donations and that existing agencies did not have the funds to support families in this manner. Jessica created and launched Baby Buggy, an organization dedicated to filling this gap for families in New York City. Over the next 10 years, Baby Buggy worked to perfect its reuse model, build a professional staff, develop a cadre of corporate donors to provide an astounding amount of new items, build a national network of partnering organizations and develop a robust volunteer program to help screen, sort, and repair items and ensure that 90 cents of every dollar are directed to programs.
Over the years, Baby Buggy’s reach expanded organically through national corporate distribution opportunities and partnerships with high-impact family service organizations. However, two key milestone events cemented the expansion of Baby Buggy’s reach. In 2010, a $1 Million grant from the Target Corporation allowed Baby Buggy to scale up donations to carefully vetted Nurse-Family Partnership and Head Start sites in several cities across the country. And, in 2014 Baby Buggy merged with LA Diaper Drive, the largest diaper bank in the country. Baby Buggy assumed the assets and operations of LA Diaper Drive and their founder joined the Board of Directors of Baby Buggy. Today, Baby Buggy has intake and distribution facilities in Los Angeles and New York City, enabling the organization to increase the number of sites we serve to 69 in New York City, 68 in Los Angeles and 13 additional cities across the country.
Notably, Baby Buggy supports a growing coalition of like-minded organizations to ensure efficiency and maximum resources are focused on the common goal of lifting families out of poverty. Together the coalition seeks to address a full range of interventions that complement Baby Buggy’s model.
Since its founding, Baby Buggy’s primary goal has been to provide low-income parents with the essential tools they need – cribs, car seats, diapers, etc. – to maintain the health and safety of their children. Baby Buggy seeks to maximize the impact of our resources by tying our donations to parental enrollment in proven anti-poverty programs. This multi-generational approach to combatting poverty allows Baby Buggy to provide for the immediate needs of a child, while ensuring parents get the tools they need to build the family’s economic stability over the long-term.
Last year Baby Buggy donated 3,403,707 items, the highest in the organization’s history.
- Baby Buggy starts work with 9/11 families, Safe Horizon and other CBOs to bring the donations to New York City families in need. The idea of “Love. Recycled” and families helping families becomes a reality.
- Jessica Seinfeld establishes Baby Buggy, conducts first Baby Buggy Gear and Clothing Drive held at Chelsea Market. NY1 and Crain’s New York help get the word out; thousands of New Yorkers respond.
- Jessica Seinfeld hires Baby Buggy’s first employee, Erin Berger.
- Claudia Fleming becomes Baby Buggy’s first Executive Director. Baby Buggy also hires its first Volunteer Coordinator, quadrupling the number of volunteer opportunities for the organization.
- Baby Buggy begins giving monthly donations to social service sites in order to serve the entire 0-4 year old population at the sites. The Children’s Place donates over 120 cases of clothing to Baby Buggy–a wonderful partnership begins. New York Cares starts a regular volunteer program with Baby Buggy.
- Baby Buggy creates an Advisory Council of NYC social service experts. Baby Buggy’s network now includes 50 social service sites. Corporate Gift In Kind Donors provide over $300,000 in corporate donations.
- Haddad Brands donates over $25,000 worth of brand new children’s clothing. Their generosity continues as they later commit to donations of over 900 boxes of clothing a quarter. Dorel Juvenile Group donates 2,065 cases worth of infant gear and products. This donation allows Baby Buggy to accept more social service sites into the network, including the International Rescue Committee’s Refugee Resettlement program.
- Baby Buggy conducts the Diaper Drive and collects 1,500,000 diapers for New York City families.
- The Friends of Baby Buggy Group is created to increase public awareness and fundraising efforts of the organization.
- Baby Buggy launches a Crib Drive in response to a dramatic increase in the number of infant fatalities in NYC caused by rollover suffocation. This initiative provides parents with educational materials on safe sleeping techniques and provides them with cribs and bassinets for their newborns.
- Baby Buggy starts working with the nationally recognized Nurse-Family Partnership program, bringing critical resources to first time low-income mothers in all five locations in New York City.
- The Children’s Place continues to donate hundreds of boxes of children’s items each quarter. As of 2006, they have donated over $650,000 worth of clothing and accessories to assist the families Baby Buggy serves.
- Baby Buggy’s Crib Drive reaches its goal of distributing 3,000 cribs and bassinets to families in need in the Harlem and Bushwick, Brooklyn neighborhoods. Initiative now moves into second phase as Project Safe Sleep.
- Baby Buggy expands volunteer program to include offsite opportunities; Credit Suisse begins monthly volunteer events for Baby Buggy at their offices.
- With support from Credit Suisse, Baby Buggy launches its first Family Resource Center at St. Anthony’s Head Start in the Bronx, committing to serve 60 families by providing quarterly donations of gear, clothing and baby products, monthly donations of diapers, as well as financial literacy and credit workshops. Later that year, Baby Buggy opens its second Family Resource Center at Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service in East Harlem, committing to serve 150 families by providing quarterly donations of gear, clothing and baby products, as well as monthly donations of diapers.
- Baby Buggy begins serving CUCS Single Stop in East Harlem by distributing diaper donations that serve as an incentive for families to receive free financial counseling, legal assistance and benefits analysis. This program has helped clients identify tens of thousands thousands of dollars available to them in public assistance and benefits, tax credits, and work supports.
- Baby Buggy receives its largest corporate donation in its history: The Children’s Place donates over 30,000 children’s T-shirts and over 100,000 pairs of jeans.
- Center for Family Representation Inc. (CFR) joins Baby Buggy’s network and receives a donation of baby gear, essentials and clothing. CFR works to help families whose children are at risk of foster care or who are being investigated by ACS to prevent foster care or if a child must enter foster care, to help that child safely reunify with her family as soon as possible.
- “An Evening with Jerry Seinfeld and Friends” raises over $1.4 Million for Baby Buggy, thanks to leadership gifts from Target, NetJets, Johnson & Johnson, Maclaren and American Express. Robin Thicke performs and attendees include Sarah Jessica Parker, Kelly Ripa and Marc Consuelos and Mariska Hargitay.
- 2008 marks the first time that Baby Buggy distributes over 1,000,000 items to NYC families in need in a single year!
- Claudia Fleming retires as Baby Buggy’s Executive Director and moves on to the Board of Directors. Katherine Snider becomes the new Executive Director of Baby Buggy.
- Delta Children’s Products donates 100 portable cribs to Baby Buggy’s Project Safe Sleep. Baby Buggy receives its biggest book donation to date from First Book: 4,304 books for young readers! Pampers donates $50,000 in diapers to Baby Buggy, its largest diaper donation to date. Haddad donates $185,000 of clothes in their 17th donation. Rosie Pope makes their first donation to Baby Buggy, consisting of $50,000 worth of maternity clothing. The Children’s Place, one of our most loyal donors, makes their 70th Donation to Baby Buggy since 2002.
- Baby Buggy trains a group of 7 Credit Suisse volunteers to interview 11 client families from the Bronx using the self-sufficiency calculator to determine their eligibility for work supports, tax credit & other benefits as well as how to access them.
- Aveeno Baby, Nickelodeon, Hugh Jackman, Christy Turlington, Melania Trump, Jerry Seinfeld, Mariska Hargitay and others support the 3rd Annual Baby Buggy Bedtime Bash. Porsche sponsors the Baby Buggy Summer Dinner at the Seinfelds’ home in East Hampton. The two events bring in over $500k for families in need.
- Baby Buggy holds its first ever “Love Recycled” Gear Drive. With the help of donors like JCPenney, Baby Bjorn, Clek & Maclaren, the event brings in over 400 pieces of gear and $50,000.
- Baby Buggy has donated over 4,000,000 total items to NYC families in need.
- Baby Buggy receives its third 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator and gets its second accredidation from the Better Business Bureau of New York
- Supporter Heidi Klum raises over $30k for Baby Buggy by donating a portion of proceed of sales from her two new maternity lines at Destination Maternity.
- Over 1000 people attend the Baby Buggy Bedtime Bash in June. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld co-host the Baby Buggy Summer Dinner, sponsored by Balenciaga. SoulCycle hosts a ride for Baby Buggy in the Hamptons, raising over $35k for families in need through a one hour class.
- The Baby Buggy for Target layette line launches in July. Carried in over 1000 Target stores and on Target.com, the line gives 10% of sales to Baby Buggy to help families in need. Through the help of Target, Huggies, Avent and Boppy, Baby Buggy begins distributing product to select Nurse Family Partnership and Head Start Sites in Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis and Washington, DC. Nigel Barker assists in a drop off of product at a Baby Buggy site. In October, Baby Buggy and Target throw a baby shower for mom-to-be Ali Larter. Guests are asked to purchase an item for a family in need on Ali Larter’s registry for Baby Buggy on Target.com. The shower celebrates the launch of Baby Buggy’s second layette line, designed by Petite Tresor, for Target.
- Baby Buggy Founder Jessica Seinfeld publishes her second book, Double Delicious. A portion of proceeds go to support Baby Buggy.
- Alice & Olivia holds a Toy Drive for Baby Buggy in their NY, CA and CT stores and kick off the drive with a party in Hollywood with a star-studded guest list including Kourtney Kardashian, Ashlee Simpson, Eva Amurri, Annalynne McCord, Maria Menounos, Molly Simms, Nicky Hilton and Jessica Capshaw.
- April: Jessica Seinfeld helps to launch the Friends of Baby Buggy LA group
- Baby Buggy becomes the charity partner for the launch of Lucky Kids Magazine
- The Appaman for Baby Buggy line launches April 10th. It is carried in Target stores nationally with 10% of proceeds going to Baby Buggy for families in need
- December: Baby Buggy holds its 10th Anniversary Gala. Over 1300 people come out to watch performance by Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart and Colin Quinn. Guests include Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Hugh Jackman, Oprah Winfrey, Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos, Mariska Hargitay and Julianne Moore.
- Baby Buggy crosses a huge milestone – over 5 million items donated to families!
- October: Superstorm Sandy hits in the Northeast. Over 2200 families in the Baby Buggy network are affected. Baby Buggy mobilizes quickly to make donations of space heaters, diapers, formula and other items to families in the Rockaways, Staten Island, Coney Island and Jersey City. The Iococca Family Foundation donates $100,000 to Baby Buggy for Hurricane Sandy relief and Jerry Seinfeld matches the gift with $100,000
- December: Baby Buggy hires Dr. Laurel Parker West as its new Program Director in December. Before joining Baby Buggy, Laurel was the Executive Director of the Long Island Women’s Fund.
- Baby Buggy receives over $3.1 million in corporate product donations in 2012, the highest amount since the Great Recession hit in 2008, and the second-highest amount in the organization’s history.
- Baby Buggy’s team collected $4,707,094 in corporate Gift in Kind donations, a 111% increase over 2012. This was Baby Buggy’s most successful year-to-date for Corporate Gift in Kind donations.
- Baby Buggy met 89% of critical gear requests (cribs, strollers, high chairs, baby carriers, breast pumps, etc) for the year, the highest percentage ever achieved in a year.
- Baby Buggy hosted 477 volunteer events with 5,066 volunteers logging in 10,081 volunteer hours
- Baby Buggy raised $1.4 Million in funds, an increase of 11% over 2012, with the highest revenue numbers we have ever seen for the Bedtime Bash and the Summer Dinner.
- According to the NYC Reuse Coalition, in 2013 Baby Buggy saved the equivalent of 762 acres of forest land by distributing repurposed items to families in need. Our distributions of these items reduced carbon emissions by the equivalent of 192 passenger vehicles
- On May 18, Baby Buggy merged with LA Diaper Drive, the largest diaper bank in the country. Baby Buggy assumed LA Diaper Drive’s assets and operations, LA Diaper Drive’s founder joined the Board of Directors of Baby Buggy and we hired our first full-time Director for LA Operations. We collected over 2.1 million diapers for nationwide distribution.
- Baby Buggy expands intake and distribution facilities in Los Angeles, building on our well-established New York City model, enabling the organization to increase the number of sites served to 79 in New York City, 45 in Los Angeles and to 15 additional cities across the country.
- Scaled up nationally, donating to Nurse-Family Partnership programs and other partner sites in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Memphis, New Jersey, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco.
- We were able to successfully meet the demand for 91.83% of all gear requests in New York City.
- Added second Los Angeles-based board member, Darren Edwards of Credit Suisse.