Baby Pantry Volunteer

About the Baby Pantry

            The Baby Pantry is a service of Child Advocacy’s Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Prevention Programming. It was founded in 1999 by the American Red Cross, and became part of Child Advocacy in July 2017. In November 2020, Child Advocacy moved out of the Wilcox Non-Profit Center and into its new building. The Baby Pantry not only provides basic needs like diapers, food, and clothing for infants and toddlers, it also provides education on infant safe sleep, shaken baby syndrome, car seat safety, positive discipline, and more.

            All Gratiot County residents with children 0-5 are welcome to visit the Baby Pantry; there are absolutely no income requirements. The Baby Pantry is open every Wednesday from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., with the exception of direct holidays, when Alma Public Schools close due to weather, and during public health emergencies that require mandatory shutdown. Volunteer shifts begin by 10:45 a.m. and end by 3:15 p.m. Child Advocacy will work with you to determine the best options to fit your schedule. There are opportunities to volunteer on non-Baby Pantry days as well.

The Baby Pantry is unique in that it is set up to be like a “shopping experience” for clients rather than a pick-up location. We strive to create a welcoming, nurturing, and organized atmosphere for our clients. Volunteers have many responsibilities in helping us make the Baby Pantry stand out among others. Opportunities include:

  • Assisting and interacting with clients: Checking clients in, providing paperwork, going over paperwork, walking new clients through their first visit, directing clients to items, entertaining toddlers, holding babies, guiding clients to Lending Library, making referrals for other services, providing supplies, bagging up items, helping with check-out, delivering items to the parking lot.
  • Prepping: Repacking diapers and wipes, making New Baby Bags, swap out clothing for the seasons, getting things ready for special events (guest speakers, extra items, holiday specials, etc.).
  • Office: Answering Baby Pantry phone, check voicemail, daily data collection, making copies of forms, replenishing educational packets (make copies and fill folders), entering client information into computer, accepting incoming donations, completing donation receipts.
  • Organization: Labeling bins and folders, sorting items in appropriate bins, sort food and formula by expiration date, filing away items, ensure things are in place.
  • Cleaning: Sweeping and mopping floors, vacuuming rugs, dusting shelves, sanitizing surfaces, wiping down newly donated items.  
  • Laundry: Washing and drying donated clothing (machines on site), folding and hanging clothing, putting clothing away.