Stork's Nest Answers Emergency Needs Of Families With Babies, Young Children

While it may feel like much of the world has come to a standstill during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people must still go to work or care for our sick.
And babies are still being born.
Many families with infants urgently need baby supplies and face challenges in accessing vital resources. In response, the Stork's Nest team at EveryStep are transitioning the program to answer the emergency needs of families in the Des Moines metro.
Under its normal structure, Stork's Nest is an educational incentive program offered through EveryStep that allows participants to earn points for healthy behaviors such as keeping medical appointments, WIC participation, breastfeeding and school attendance.
Typically, the store is open to participants to redeem their points for necessities like cribs, mattresses, diapers, wipes and other essentials.
However, with the current COVID-19 situation, EveryStep has implemented policy and program changes to ensure that clients, patients, and staff remain healthy. For this reason, Stork's Nest has temporarily transitioned to the “Emergency Nest”, allowing families to receive items only on an emergency basis.
"We've been doing our best to help families that we serve," says Leslie Taft, Stork's Nest program coordinator. "Anyone enrolled in EveryStep programming can access the Emergency Nest."
That means if a family had been participating in Stork's Nest previously, they're eligible to receive items from the Emergency Nest, but don't need to use their accumulated points.
Available items include cribs and mattresses, car seats, diapers, wipes and pack and plays.
"Babies are still being born, and families need car seats to leave the hospital," Leslie says of one example of Emergency Nest's use.
Because of social distancing recommendations and the fact that EveryStep's offices are closed to visits from the public, staff are delivering needed items straight to clients' homes.
"What we're doing is, we basically took the orders and put them together," she says. "We call them and if they had a crib or carseat, we provide safety education with an interpreter over the phone.”
Staff call the client, and the items are left on the client’s doorstep. 
Stork's Nest staff recently finished their first Emergency Nest deliveries. During the pandemic crisis, weekly deliveries will take place every Thursday.
"Participants have been very grateful, they were surprised we were still doing this," Leslie says. "We anticipate next week we'll get more people who are aware. People do need those necessary things."
Though it's anything but business as usual for Stork's Nest, the program and its staff continue to ensure those in need are cared for during this difficult time.
If you'd like to contribute to Stork's Nest - and the Emergency Nest - consider making a donation for diapers, car seats and other necessities through the EveryStep Foundation.