The development of Infant Essentials was a journey I began in 2012 when I drove passed a homeless couple here in my home town of Cambria, holding a sign "looking for work, food, money". I was caught off guard when I noticed that there was a baby in a stroller behind the couple.
It happened to be my daughter Gwen's First Birthday and I was coming home from the grocery store having bought food for our 15 person family celebration dinner. I felt guilty for having all of the wonderful things that we have been blessed with, but also felt helpless because what could I offer them that would make a difference in their lives? I ran home and grabbed some baby snacks from our cupboard and brought them along with $20 to the couple. They were very thankful, but I didn't feel any better.
I embraced the moment and finally put my Community Health Degree back to work and began a needs assessment. I discovered pretty quickly that Diapers are in high demand amongst the homeless community. Neither the FoodStamps nor WIC programs offer diapers or diaper discounts, and none of our shelters or day centers here in SLO have the ability to store or distribute goods like diapers. Having found this information I established a non-profit organization called Infant Essentials. The goal is to provide necessary comforts to homeless and low income infants 0-3 years old.
After a year and a half of paper work, phone calls, and also having another baby, I launched Infant Essentials in 2013 with our first Diaper drive. Thank you to my two wonderful Board Members Margie and Helen, you are both creative and brilliant!
- Heather Markham, Founder of Infant Essentials
"The girls and boys we work with greatly appreciate all that you do. We work with a majority of low income teens who need the support and guidance from all the resources they have contact with. I know from my experience these teens would be lost without the support they are given, some come from a single family home, or a home with no family support. I hope everyone you work with knows how much we appreciate your services. Thank you"
- Michelle Gordon, Social Worker for CAPSLO
Heather Markham, President
Margie Perez-Sesser, Secretary
Helen Pitton, Treasurer
Haley Murphy, Director of PR and Marketing
Stuart Hallin, Director of IT
OUR BOARD MEMBERS