Spring Cleaning with Meaning
It’s time for that annual ritual of mucking through the closets to unearth and purge the ‘stuff’ that hasn’t seen the light of day in years. While a lightened load is a reward in itself, you can make this year’s spring cleaning even more gratifying by giving that stuff to someone who can use it – often in a life changing way.
At Eastside Baby Corner we are happy to take all of your unneeded kid stuff. We know a few hundred kids in our community who can use it while their families focus their resources on pulling themselves out of poverty or crisis. Here are a few of our favorite spring cleaning donations:
Baby clothes – Whether you held on to them because you thought you might have one more, or because you just couldn’t bring yourself to part with those sweet little reminders of babyhood, when you’re ready to let them go, we would love to have them. We will use your baby clothes to fill layettes for new moms to take home from the hospital.
Big kid clothes – We get it, your big kid destroys everything he or she wears. You’re lucky to make it a season without having to buy several new wardrobes. If they do change sizes, and some of those (incredibly durable) clothes do survive, consider passing them on to EBC. We’ll give the clothes to children who can wear them to school and look ‘just like everyone else.’ We’ll take your boys and girls clothing up to size 14.
Toys – If your child is like most, they obsess over a new toy every few months – only to drop it like a ton of bricks when the next obsession hits. Of course, while in the obsession, they have to have every version of that toy ever created. When junior is ready to part with the entire cast of Thomas the Train characters (and the miles of track) or all 50 of their My Little Ponies (with the castle), bring them to us. We’ll give them to a child who had to leave all of their toys behind when they moved suddenly, or to a family who can’t afford a birthday gift for their child this year. There is still a lot of love left in those toys and we’ll make sure they go to a child who can provide it.
Strollers, portable cribs, and other gear – Remember when going anywhere meant taking along a carload full of stuff? It took hours to get out the door. When you, for better or worse, have passed this phase in your life, you can pass all of that gear along and help another family have everything they need to keep their child safe. Your stroller might help a mom who has to walk miles to the grocery store, your portable crib might be the first ‘bed of their own’ a toddler has ever had.
Blankets, quilts and other bedding – Maybe you’ve updated your child’s bedroom, and you hung on to the old bedding ‘just in case.’ Now you realized they are never going to let you put the Dora the Explorer quilt back on their bed. Ever. Fortunately Dora is still in favor with some of our kids. Bring it by and we’ll help a family give a child the room of their dreams. We’ll take your linens too. We give out bedding up to size queen (because we help kids up to age 12), so if you have bedding that no longer matches your walls – or your post-college self – we’ll find a new home for it.
Meet Our Founder – Karen Ridlon
Twenty-five years ago, Karen Ridlon founded Eastside Baby Corner (EBC). A certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (University of California, San Francisco, 1972), Karen worked as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in California and Washington, working in well child care, newborn care and newborn ICU support for a number of medical groups and doctors. In 1990, Karen founded Eastside Baby Corner to fill an unmet need of parents of newborns who lacked basic supplies for their children.
She is Executive Director Emeritus and a lifetime member of the EBC Board of Directors. Karen has been recognized for her efforts with many volunteer awards, including receiving the Leadership Eastside LENi Community Choice Leadership Award in 2013, Distinguished Member Award for the Washington State Chapter of NAPNAP (National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners) in 2013, Issaquah Schools Foundation Golden Apple Award (2009) and chosen as a UCSF Distinguished Alumni. Karen was a key player in the development of the Issaquah Community Center and has been a tireless contributor to many volunteer efforts over the years, including scouting, the public schools, and her church. Karen is the mother of three children and a proud resident of Issaquah, where she lives with her husband.Meet Our Board of Directors and Leadership