Mom Starts Here is a non-profit serving Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties. They provide supports for new moms and help them find the resources they need to successfully parent. Right now, they are looking for more volunteers to join a team formed by a woman and mother who's journey inspired the non-profit's foundation.
When Kyla Schmidt was 19-years-old she had her son, London.
“While I consider myself to really have had a lot of support from friends and family and to really done pretty well, considering the unplanned nature of my pregnancy, I still was attempting to navigating community resources and realized just how disjointed the resources were,” says Schmidt.
Now, London is nine and a half, and is a big brother to nearly 2-year-old Sydney. With the take-aways she gathered from her own journey into motherhood, Kyla started the non-profit "Mom Starts Here" in 2016.
“I wanted there to be one place where a woman in an unplanned pregnancy, or any family in need, could get connected to the resources available to them and I also wanted to meet some of the need gaps that I was experiencing myself,” says Schmidt.
Mom Starts Here addresses the most basic needs of new moms, such as guaranteeing safe sleep, travel for their newborns with free car seats and pack and plays. It also hosts community baby showers, where they give away gently used baby items.
Kyla says the biggest asset of her non-profit, though, is the one-on-one parent support and counseling.
“I truly believe that while there might be periods of time that you don’t have what you need and you might be living in poverty and you might you know really be scraping by to take care of your children and yourself that there’s still so much more in your future,” says Schmidt.
While it’s been around for nearly six years, the non-profit really took off during the pandemic.
“Our client base quadrupled as a result of COVID and so we had to restructure some things to be able to better accommodate the new referrals we’re receiving, but it’s been great because we been able to go a lot deeper now with each family as our programs have expanded,” says Schmidt.
Namely, they’re monthly diaper program. Mom Starts Here currently sends diapers to over 100 children for as long as they need them. By providing wrap around support, Kyla hopes to empower other moms. She’s always accepting donations of gently used baby items, but the big call to action here is for volunteers.
To further her vision of reaching as many families as possible, she needs all the help she can get.
“I encourage anyone who is passionate about our mission and the work that we’re doing to reach out, get connected and help us provide these supports in our community,” says Schmidt.
If you’re interested in volunteering or getting some help from Mom Starts Here, visit their website.