By Hayley Crandall
Lola’s New Beginnings, a prenatal and child care support service on Milwaukee’s South Side, is hosting a month-long diaper drive to assist local mothers in need.
The “Sweet Cheeks Diaper Drive” kicked off last week with an event featuring various community businesses and supporters.
“If we can provide diapers and save them a couple of dollars to take their kids to go get a cheeseburger or an ice cream or to put it towards a bill, something so small could be so significant in somebody else’s life,” said Stephanie Soto, Lola’s New Beginnings CEO and founder.
The drive is also accepting any baby, household, mother or children-related items, Soto explained.
“Since COVID came, the need for diapers has gone up, so it was originally a diaper drive but we, at this point, will take any donation,” she said. “Whether it’s household or anything to do with children.”
Lola’s New Beginnings offers care coordination for various stages of motherhood. Coordinators work one-on-one with clients to help achieve life goals and offer assistance in child care. They also have programs in place to supply families with necessities like diapers, car seats and clothing, Soto explained, which are aided by the donations.
After seeing the effects of the pandemic on the community, Soto felt it was her time to reach out and start working with low-income mothers. She recognized the high need for the service and opened Lola’s New Beginnings with her mother.
“I was a care coordinator for about five years, and I was also working for MPS, and through everything that happened with COVID, I just wanted to pretty much dive into moving more toward working with low-income women and women with newborns,” Soto said. “I kind of just decided that it was my time and I ended up opening my own place on the South Side after working for someone.”
Currently, Lola‘s New Beginnings is actively assisting over 300 families, Soto explained, and it has helped over 500 families since its launch last year.
“We actually grew quite fast,” Soto said.
Soto hopes this drive will spread the word and help them reach those who may be really struggling in these rough times.
“I think at this point in time, with the way COVID is, and with so many women that may not know that we are here and available to them, and that they do not have to struggle, it’s a big time for us to get out there and reach these girls,” she said. “Because of COVID, a lot of these girls, it’s harder to reach them so we’re taking advantage of this to get our name out there.”
Donations can be dropped off at Lola’s New Beginnings, 3330 S. 16th St. More information on services and programs can be found on its website, http://lolasnewbeginnings.com/.