Financially challenged parents in Newark with a newborn can now receive a free crib thanks to a new initiative between a non-profit organization, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and a host of community groups.
The initiative was made possible by a donation of more than 80 cribs by Keeping Babies Safe, a Warren-based non-profit organization that provides education, assistance, advocacy and leadership in the development of safer children’s products and practices.
"Through this new and exciting partnership with Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, we are given a tremendous opportunity. We now have a direct conduit that can identify the neediest families and provide them with a safe crib,” said Joyce Davis, founder of Keeping Babies Safe.
"We believe this program will make our work more effective, more meaningful and assure young families that their babies are sleeping safely and soundly," said Davis, who founded the organization in 2007, after her son was killed in a crib accident.
The partnership was facilitated by state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz, herself an expecting mother, who brought KBS together with Newark Beth Israel and its affiliate, the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey.
“There is nothing more important to parents than keeping their children safe,” Ruiz said. “I am thrilled to be part of this initiative to provide new cribs to families in the City of Newark. With the help of community partners, this program will better ensure the safety and wellbeing of babies in our area. I want to thank all of the organizations that are working to make this program a reality.”
The initiative was announced at a press conference at Newark Beth Israel that brought together the host of community groups that will participate, including Baby Land Family Services, Newark Community Health Centers, Newark Emergency Services for Families, The Weequahic Family Success Center, Mount Sinai Baptist Church, New Psalmist Worship Center, Masjid Ash Shifaa United Muslim Inc., and Saint John the Baptist Church.
“It’s with organizations like Keeping Babies Safe that we can partner up with that makes our jobs easier to be able to give back to the community, sometimes in ways that we didn’t think we could do," said Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin.
Assemblywoman Blonnie R. Watson praised Beth Israel for its outreach to the community.
"You always hear about Newark Beth Israel throughout the city of Newark whether they’re helping with our seniors or our youth," Watson said. "And now, you’re continuing to do great things for our children and newborns."
Darrell K. Terry Sr., president and CEO of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, said it's all about partnerships with the community.
"Hospitals and healthcare organizations can no longer work in silos, we have to work together with our communities if we want to make a significant impact on the health of the people we serve," Terry said.
This is the first donation of its kind made possible by a $51,000 grant from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to Keeping Babies Safe.
Mothers do not have to deliver their babies at Newark Beth Israel to receive a free crib.