MADISON -- As of April 1, Pregnancy Helpline (PH) of Madison has reopened its crib program.
Due to a change in crib regulations, the organization had to shut down its program temporarily last summer. PH had long been providing refurbished used and new cribs to its clients.
PH had a team of workers that would collect, fix, freshen, and deliver cribs to clients’ home. They would even set them up for families.
“Stopping the program was a big loss to our clients, and we worked hard to think of a way to make the program work,” said Alissa Hirscher, interim executive director of Pregnancy Helpline.
The new crib program is called the Safe Sleep Program. The same team delivers brand new pack-n-plays to clients.
A pack-n-play is part portable crib, part play pen, part bassinet, and sometimes a changing table, toy center, or outdoor play space. It has a mattress for babies and young toddlers to sleep or play. It folds to fit in a bag, making it perfect for traveling.
“We use the same client criteria that we used in our old crib program,” said Hirscher. “The pack-n-plays are easier to set up and move, and may meet the needs of our clients better if they need to move frequently.”
There are no longer any used pack-n-plays as part of this program, although PH is still accepting them as donations and giving them out through its Sharing Center.
Ways to help
While the pack-n-plays are cost effective, it is an increased cost to Pregnancy Helpline.
“We have committed to providing brand new ones to our clients, to ensure cleanliness and safety,” said Erin Ebersole, PH crib coordinator.
“Our old program involved refurbishing used cribs, so there was no cost to us,” she noted. “Past records indicate that we gave out about five cribs a month, or 60 a year. We are looking for donors who are willing to provide a safe sleeping place for a new baby by donating $60 for a new pack-n-play.”
Shopko has decided to support the PH campaign and give a discount on pack-n-plays purchased through their stores.
Pregnancy Helpline serves the entire Dane County area. “You would be giving a local mom in your own community peace of mind that her baby has a safe sleeping place,” said Hirscher.
“Or, if you’d like to donate a brand new pack-n-play in an unopened box to our program, please call the Helpline at 608-222-0008 and we will refer you to a drop-off location.”