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Children's Charity Spotlight: Baby2Baby

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Marnie Owens, left, and Karis Jagger launched Baby2Baby in 2006. (credit: Baby2Baby.org)

A trio of Los Angeles moms decided to give back to local families by collecting gently used children's items for kids up to 4 years old. The result? A successful organization that has built a strong community network of L.A. shops and businesses. All that and carpools, too.

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CC donates her clothes for Baby2Baby at Pumpkinheads. (credit: Laura Clark)

Baby2Baby

5522 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 933-BABY (2229)
More Info

In 2006, after amassing more children's clothes, toys and other gear than they could use, Los Angeles moms Karis Jagger, Marnie Owens and Lee Michel decided it would be a great idea to give back to other moms in the community.

The problem was, there wasn't an organization in L.A. that accepted baby items exclusively.

That year, Baby2Baby was born.

Baby2Baby is a charitable organization that collects gently used necessities for little Angelenos up to 4 years old and distributes them through other community-based organizations.

I had the opportunity to speak with Karis Jagger (yes, daughter of Mick), who has two young children of her own, about her own experience with the community and how Baby2Baby got its start.

After approaching New York-based Baby Buggy about launching an L.A. outpost and being told the charitable organization had no plans to expand, Jagger, Owens and Michel started planning their own local outlet.

"From there, we just started asking friends for donations," Jagger said, "and we collected all the stuff in our garages, and then we would drive it to these organizations," most of which were located downtown.

But packing the car full of baby items and driving back and forth to various organizations downtown proved to be a huge challenge.

"After we did that for a little bit, we decided that that was kind of insane," she said.

"I think people are really into their communities here, and it was nice for people to come and drop stuff off at our houses," Jagger said, "but we realized it wasn't, in the end, the most convenient thing for us.

"Literally I would come home from picking up the kids, and there would be like 40 garbage bags full of stuff," she added. "And my husband was like, 'This has got to stop.' "

After trying out a storage space, they opened a storefront on Pico (between Fairfax and La Brea), a convenient location where people could drop off their items that would also be accessible to the downtown organizations.

What is Baby2Baby looking for?
• Strollers
• Cribs and crib mattresses
• High chairs
• Car seats
• Pack and plays

Although my 4-year-old daughter, CC, is still too young to fully understand the concept of giving back to those in need, I actually think it's never too early to start teaching kids to do just that. So last summer, I gathered up a bunch of her little onesies and baby outfits that were still in great condition (no stains, rips, etc.), and we drove over to Pumpkinheads (www.pumkinheadkids.com) an adorable children's shop in Brentwood that also serves as a drop-off spot for Baby2Baby.

"Is that for babies?" CC asked about her own little clothing she had outgrown a couple of years ago.

"Yes," I told her, admittedly a little wistful at handing over clothes my growing child used to wear. "It's for babies who need them."

Jagger agrees that it's a good idea to get children started early on the idea of giving back.

"With my kids," she said, "there's always a Baby2Baby bag in the front closet. If you're done with a book, or if you've outgrown the puzzle, you can put it in there and pass it on. If your shoes don't fit anymore, put them in the bag."

Donation Drop-off Locations:
Baby2Baby
5522 West Pico Blvd. (east of Fairfax @ Sierra Bonita. Parking and entrance in rear lot via Sierra Bonita)
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 933-BABY (2229)
10:30 to 1 Mondays and Wednesdays

Pumpkinheads
11640 San Vicente Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 207-6760
10 to 6 Monday-Saturday
10 to 5 Sunday

The Treehouse Social Club
426 South Robertson
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 288-3024
9 to 5 Monday - Friday (open until 8 PM on Wednesdays)
9 to Noon - Saturday

Laura Clark is the founder and editor of L.A. Story, where a version of this story first appeared.

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