Helping Hand-Me-Downs continues to help families in St. Louis
“Our biggest need really is to fill orders for social service agencies,” the CEO said.
ELLISVILLE, Missouri – Our “One Way Forward” series focuses on organizations and programs in our area that are making an impact.
This week, we’re spotlighting a nonprofit called Helping Hand-Me-Downs. He tries to bring stability to families.
In 2011, Helping Hand-Me-Downs was born out of necessity.
Executive Director Stephanie Suljak saw there was a need. Instead of reinventing the wheel, she looked for answers on the gaps.
“I spoke to about 40 social service agencies, hospitals, nurses, different people and asked them what they would like to see happen in St. Louis,” she explains.
It was then that the organization came to life. Suljak learned that many families leaving the hospital were unprepared for what was to come. Many did not have clothes or a cradle.
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“We mainly work with families who have brand new babies coming home and who do not have the supplies for these children,” she adds. “I was once called to St. Mary’s to work with a young mother, who didn’t have a crib and they were teaching her to put her baby to bed in a laundry basket,” Suljak explains.
A large majority of clients are single parents who are unemployed in the greater St. Louis area.
The objective is to give a helping hand to families.
“We do basic things like shoes to clothes, from coats to beds, to cribs,” she says.
And that hand continues to extend. The organization provides more than urgent needs. It also offers long-term assistance, from coaching and housing programs to rent assistance, including furniture delivery.
“This is not what we started doing originally, but we cover these families, we have to cover all the needs. 30,000 children and 10 years later here we are,” Suljak said.
With extra help, the association can open even more doors for others.
“Our biggest need is really to fill orders for social service agencies. We need clothes, size 3T and up, we need a lot of pull-ups!” she says.
Monetary donations are also a way to pay for your space.
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For help, families must be referred by someone from their referral agency. A list of all agencies is here.
The top 10 referral partners in 2016 were Nurses for Newborns Foundation, Signature Medical Group, Missouri Head Start, St. Louis County Department of Public Health, St. Louis Crisis Nursery, BJC Healthcare, Home State Health, Queen of Peace Center, Birthright Counseling Children’s Division of Saint-Louis and Saint-Louis.
The organization works with more than 150 social workers in the region.
If you need one, you can call 314-919-6999 and volunteers can help you find one.
If you would like to donate, click here. Beyond cash, for all other donations there is a drop box outside 16225 Westwoods Business Park Drive, Ellisville, MO 63021.