Our babies are worth it! Thank you for Investing in their futures . . .
Those familiar with nonprofits and serving a mission know that there is no shortage of hard work. But there is often a shortage of investments to keep that work going, improve it, and meet all the demands. In recent months, we appealed to various grant makers to help us make an even bigger impact and keep pace with our strategic growth goals. And lo and behold, they said yes! After doing our happy dance, we are digging in to make sure every penny is used to help babies and families.
We thought you would like to know who saw our families as worth investing in, so we can say thank you together . . .
The Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell
The Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell invested $128,000 over two years for a special health equity initiative with donor milk. As part of her initiative to reduce maternal health disparities in Massachusetts, the AG’s office recognized how using donor milk for lactation support in early breastfeeding efforts can increase successful breastfeeding outcomes. And how successful breastfeeding outcomes, for those who are both able and interested in this feeding strategy, have enormous health benefits.
Women who chest/breastfeed have reduced risks of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and more. Infants fed a human milk diet receive numerous health benefits as well. These include reducing their risk for certain cancers, diabetes, SIDS, and more. They also benefit from improved neurodevelopmental outcomes. Black families and lower income families have lower rates of breastfeeding overall. They also have higher rates of the medical conditions listed above.
A heartfelt thank you to the AG for caring about this work. We’re grateful for the opportunity to support families who might not otherwise have access to donor milk as lactation support and all of its benefits.
Davis Family Foundation
Based in Yarmouth Maine, the Davis Family Foundation invested $15,000 over the next year to improve equitable access to donor milk for families in Maine. This important funder recognized that Maine families are spread across a wide and largely rural area. And that both geography and individual family resources impact accessibility of lactation support. This generous foundation invested in us to develop both community education materials and statewide partnerships to disseminate these.
They also provided funding to create new donor milk distribution sites – particularly in areas with limited medical services. These start-up funds will help ensure that the babies who need it have access to donor milk. And that those mamas who are able and interested will learn how to share their precious milk.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation
The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation invested $6,900 to purchase a temperature data logger. This improves temperature accuracy while reducing the time required for our milk pasteurization process.
This piece of important equipment will join a new automated mixer to ensure each batch of milk is thoroughly stirred for nutritional consistency and an automated pump to ensure each bottle has a precise amount of milk in it, both procured through an individual family gift. This investment is a critical part of a larger improvement plan to increase efficiency in our pasteurization lab and expand our capacity, providing us with additional bandwidth for our health equity work. This new tool is truly a catalyst for a future filled with even more safe, pasteurized donor milk available to those who need it.
Yale Appliance Foundation
Finally, the incredible Yale Appliance Foundation came through for us – AGAIN. This time they joined forces with a commercial vendor, True Appliances, and donated a large capacity commercial refrigerator.
This new appliance helps with our expanded milk production that requires more refrigeration space for milk thawing prior to pasteurization. Yale has previously donated a freezer and also made cash contributions toward general operating. Woot! Woot!
Thank you – from us and our babies . . .
We are incredibly grateful for these meaningful and impactful gifts. And we are heartened by the vote of confidence that every gift, whether it’s $20 or $120,000 reflects. The investments above show us that we are headed in the right direction. They show us that people understand the importance of our mission and are integral to serving our milk bank babies. Babies like tiny Max born at 28 weeks, fragile Rose who needs complicated medical treatments, bouncing Jordan whose mom is producing milk to spare, brand new Millie who is struggling to latch and get all the human milk she needs from her mom.
These babies and their families, thousands of them each year, rely on Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast to safely screen and receive generous milk donations from caring parents. And then to turn it around, after pasteurizing, so it makes its way throughout our region to the babies and families who rely on it, most often in neonatal intensive care units. All this, so that those babies can ultimately go home, where they belong.
We have infinitely more work to do and plans to move it forward. These investments are important steps in the right direction. And we will need many more people, individuals, foundations, government agencies, and medical facilities, to walk with us and invest in this work so that we can achieve the goal of every baby who needs access to donor milk, having that access.
A huge, bear-hug, milk bank thanks to all our supporters called out above and to every one of you who also supports the milk bank and have been part of getting us where we are today and preparing for a meaningful future. Together, we make a difference. Together, we make sure that babies grow and thrive.