“After a year of COVID and my family being impacted, I felt like I needed to get involved,” said Corporate and National Solutions Project Coordinator Maria Luevano.
At first, Luevano started by volunteering her time every Saturday with the Los Angeles Baby Cooperative/Cooperativa de Pañales. Now, she helps them every chance she gets.
The organization came about when parents in the Los Angeles community were having trouble accessing diapers and infant supplies due to COVID-19. After recognizing the common need, they decided to team up to procure and distribute bundles of diapers and wipes every Saturday morning in the Francis Avenue Community Garden.
“I was only thinking I would be there every Saturday, but now I am there on Tuesday nights as well. My friends are becoming involved and joining me, and I love spending my time there,” said Luevano.
One of Luevano’s friends, the founder of the organization, was the one to introduce Luevano to the need for infant supplies in the community.
“I asked, ‘What can I do to help?’ and that was when she shared with me her idea for the community,” said Luevano. “It really touched me”
The organization resonated with Luevano.
What Volunteering Entails
“I come from parents of immigrants, so when I saw these moms in lower-income neighborhoods and the needs they had, I knew I wanted to help,” said Luevano.
On Saturdays, Luevano and other volunteers arrive at six in the morning to put together boxes of diapers and bag them by size.
“I register moms who come by to count inventory and check in,” said Luevano. “We usually have around 40–50 moms who come by every week.”
She keeps track of how many diapers and wipes and helps gather enough supplies for those in need each week.
“We also meet every Tuesday to discuss what we need to do and create more projects. We are fundraising to create a new website, calling other organizations and diaper distributors, reaching out to diaper networks, and discussing the agenda, inventory issues, and upcoming events.”
Seeing other people involved inspires Luevano.
“My goal is to not just hand diapers out but to help the moms who come by gain skills and find jobs,” said Luevano. “Right now, I am teaching them out to use a laptop and helping them learn new skills, such as Excel.”
For Luevano, the most touching moment is when moms come by and tell her what is on their minds.
“This has been going on since October, and some moms come every week. The first thing they say is ‘I am praying for you,’” said Luevano. “They are always so thankful, and their gratitude is through the roof!”
Maria Luevano left us with two sentences.
“It doesn’t take much. It does take time, but you can always share a post, and that is simple.”
Interested in supporting the LA Baby Cooperative/Cooperativa Para Bebés de LA? Give back by visiting http://lababycooperative.org/!