Volunteering (with Kids) at Emergency Infant Services

Now that the girls are three it feels like another opportunity to try new things! This is a year I want the girls and I to be open to expanding our hearts. 

Growing up in Tulsa comes with the huge privilege of being surrounded by one of the most giving communities in the nation. Emergency Infant Services is one Tulsa organization that I hear about often. They assist families with children five and younger. My heart sinks when I realize the families that come to them just need the pure basics: milk, formula, diapers and clothing.

The first time I heard about the organization my friend Chauntay’s daughter Georgia chose to ask for her birthday party guests to bring items for Emergency Infant Services. How selfless that a child would rather help other families than receive gifts herself.

It hit me one day that EIS is catering to same age group as my girls. What if I did not have food, clothing or medicine for my girls? My heart and head went and truly thought about all of my friends who have kids under five. If all of us needed the basic needs for our kids, I am thankful there is a place like EIS around. Oklahoma is ranked 32 for children living in poverty, so the need is great for this organization.

The girls have never volunteered and it was time to change that. The volunteer coordination was beyond helpful and knew my girls were only three, but made us feel like we could truly make a huge impact coming to volunteer. We decided to go at the same time as a volunteer who has been going for a long time. Kadence is seven and she is a volunteer pro at EIS. She volunteers regularly with her Mom.

Upon pulling up Reese had just fallen asleep after boycotting naps. I woke her up just as we arrived at EIS. There are facilities across Tulsa, but we went to the downtown location. As soon as the door was opened the girls spotted toys. Quickly they went to start playing. I looked up in fear that this was going to be a problem, but the volunteer coordinator quickly expressed that it was more than okay.

The area for families to come and obtain items is set up like a boutique! Next to the boutique is a play room filled with toys. As I got a quick tour my girls choice to stay in play. EIS has thought of everything. When families arrive they meet and discover their needs. Then they get to go shopping. The attention to detail is huge! It is organized better than any store I have shopped and the loving staff made me smile nonstop.

The girls had warmed up and were ready to start helping! Kadence made the girls feel like the best assistants she could find. We organized baby food and diapers into packages for the families. As we were doing these simple tasks, my mind started thinking about the relief these families must feel when they walk in there with their children. There are toys, strollers, items for kids with allergies and everything in between. I imagine each of the families walking in feel the weight of the world leaving their shoulders for a moment.

After all of the items were organized, we got to go into the back warehouse. They let the girls play diaper basketball. Which is where they “throw” the organized diapers into easy grab and go bins.

Talking to the volunteer coordinator I wanted to know what they run out of the most. She said toddler boy clothes, strollers and car seats. Of course they need everything but those items are usually on the lower side. I give items away often and had guilt that I did not choose this organization. They keep the items and do not sell them! It makes an impact instantly.

When we got in the car I, of course, start to cry. My heart was filled with lots of emotions. I am one person, but I know just by donating items yearly, volunteering and spreading the word I could help a family that walks into EIS. The girls told me they had fun and wanted to go back and play, so they do not totally understand what they are doing there, yet it proves EIS provides an area kids feel more than comfortable in.

The girls and I are going to go volunteer once a month for the rest of the year. We would love anyone to join us! And next time we will be arriving with items to drop off too.

 

Categories: Tulsa Times Two