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URMC / Strong Memorial Hospital / Friends of Strong / The Best of Friends Blog / November 2023 / Baby Love Gift Drive: Be A Secret Santa for a Family in Need

Baby Love Gift Drive: Be A Secret Santa for a Family in Need

The economic uncertainty many of us are currently experiencing creates difficult challenges for many families in our area. This is especially true of the 190+ families enrolled in the Baby Love program through Strong Memorial Hospital's Social Work and Patient and Family Services. Together, these families represent 284 babies, infants, toddlers and children from throughout our area. The majority of mothers in Baby Love are head of household and employed in various essential service industries. They work hard to balance demanding work hours while providing care for their young and school-age children, but gaps in resources persist.

Young child looking with wonder into a present with a teddy bearA Great and Simple Way to Help

Our social workers, who have screened and selected these families in need of real basics, such as warm clothing and shoes, are only able to provide limited home visiting to drop off essential goods and informational resources at this time. Because of these added challenges, we are hoping you will embrace a newer way to help these families-by contributing gift cards from easily accessible retailers, such as Walmart, Wegmans, Target, Price Rite, Tops, Amazon or local dollar stores. 

With your contribution this holiday season, these hardworking, yet under-resourced parents, will be able to shop for toys, activities, books and other meaningful gifts on their own, while still affording household essentials such as diapers, cleaning supplies, and groceries for wholesome family meals during the holidays. 

All gift cards will need to be received—unwrapped—by 12 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 in order to give our case workers time to gather, arrange and equitably distribute these gifts.

In-Person:  If you currently volunteer, please drop-off your gift card and/or coat donation at the Friends of Strong office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Gift Cards by Mail:  If you volunteer off site, please consider mailing gift cards to:
          Friends of Strong
          C/O Susan Sullivan
          601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 660
          Rochester, NY, 14642


The Baby Love Program is a social worker/community health worker, home visitor model that assists pregnant women and adolescents achieve healthy births and improved health outcomes. Services include assistance in keeping prenatal and other health care appointments addressing social determinants of health, helping prepare for the birth of the baby, including breast feeding, prenatal and infant development education, supportive home visits with focus on the Partners for a Healthy Baby curriculum, and linkage to behavioral health and other needed services. Baby Love has demonstrated effectiveness in significantly reducing neonatal intensive care admissions. The program is available to pregnant patients living in Monroe County. The program is supported by NYS DOH and UR Medicine.

For more information about the Baby Love program, please contact Carol Quester, LMSW at (585) 473-1728 or (585) 623-2642.

Emily A. Teitsworth | 11/9/2023

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