Strollers Make All the Difference!
For many of the parents living at DC General Family Shelter, even simple daily tasks like leaving the shelter for school, work, and appointments, or taking their children to daycare or to a local playground, become much more difficult, due to a lack of reliable and safe strollers to transport their children.
Many parents go without a stroller or use older strollers in poor condition with broken wheels and missing covers. For parents with more than one child in need of a double stroller, it’s often necessary to carry one child while walking several blocks, and while getting on and off the bus and Metro. Parents are forced to become quite creative in order to complete necessary tasks like transporting bags of laundry to the laundromat with children in tow.
Just last week, I met a mom who came in to sign up her children for Playtime. She requested to be added to the request list for a double stroller. Initially, I was confused because the children she was signing up were about 6 or 7 and she had a younger child, about 6 months old in a stroller. When I asked her why she needed a double stroller, a little girl’s head and two big brown eyes peeked out at me from the lower storage area of the stroller!
As I sat down and talked with this mom, I listened to her story. I heard about how hard she is trying to find work and get out of the shelter. She told me of what a struggle it is every day to get around without an adequate and safe way to transport her children.
As we begin to enter the colder months of the year, the lack of reliable strollers to transport children becomes even more of a concern. Our families living at DC General attempt to provide as normal an existence as possible for their children, while at the same time working extremely hard to leave the shelter and find a more permanent housing.
At Playtime, we strive to help our parents provide some normalcy through play, and assist families in connecting to additional support services and resources. Nevertheless, tangible items such as strollers prove to be much more difficult to provide. We depend on the incredible kindness of friends like you to help fill the other gaps that exist for our families aside from housing. Last month when I delivered a double stroller to a mother of a toddler and a newborn’s room, she was in tears, so grateful for the donor who made her daily life so much more manageable.
Will you help provide a stroller for a family experiencing homelessness? Click here to donate, or go to our Amazon wish list and select a stroller to purchase! Contact Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange drop-off of these donations. Thank you for your support!
Maureen Rodgers is an MSW intern at the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project. Originally from Queens, New York, she has worked in child welfare for the past 12 years in various positions in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Maureen has a masters degree in contemporary communications from Notre Dame of Maryland University and is currently pursuing her MSW at The Catholic University of America. Upon graduation she hopes to continue working with and advocating for marginalized populations. She lives in Prince George’s County, Maryland with her husband and daughter.