A Defining Moment: How WestSide Baby Will Emerge: Part I
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other”Mother Teresa
How will WestSide Baby re-emerge from this public health crisis? This is the question on our hearts and minds.
At the center of who we are is a mission to meet the basic needs of children in our community.
Before COVID-19 spread through King County, our social safety net had holes resulting in nearly 1 in 4 families unable to access the basic essentials they needed to keep children safe, warm, and thriving. Now, this crisis has laid bare these gaping holes, with more of us experiencing the stress of financial instability, and those already furthest from access being most impacted.
WestSide Baby came into existence to fill a vital need. We came into existence because our community came together to give their time, their money, and items their child had outgrown so that another child might grow and thrive, healthy and happy. We came into existence to connect resource to need in our community.
As we look forward to re-emerging, the community need that drives our existence will shape who we are constantly becoming.
In the midst of COVID, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community’s resources, of those who give because they can, because it is needed, and because they believe that every child deserves to have their most basic human needs honored. We have also been overwhelmed by the unmet need in our community. Before COVID, within communities of color, up to 75 percent of families were experiencing difficulty affording enough clean diapers & other basic essentials for their children.
We have been faced with unprecedented need just as our usual way of operating is no longer feasible during a pandemic.
When we can’t go back to how we used to be when we don’t want to return to an inequitable past, how do we proceed?
We have the rare opportunity to design a better normal. As we walk this path toward an uncertain future, our mission to meet a vital community need is still our North Star, and the things we value most are our compass; together they guide each step forward.
Our Map: What is guiding our re-emergence?
- Last year, we defined our WestSide Baby Community to help us focus our work and impact. “Families experiencing unmet basic needs” will drive our priorities as we re-emerge, while “those who come together with the shared purpose of addressing this inequity” will be engaged to give what is needed most.
- Our WestSide Baby value of Humanity will focus our re-emergence on the experience of unmet basic needs, on bearing witness to the wisdom and resilience borne of this experience;
- Our WestSide Baby Intentional value will focus our re-emergence on adapting and making decisions that center the greatest needs.
- Our WestSide Baby Resilience value will consider the resources necessary to meet our community’s needs – the staff, volunteers, money, and items – and ensuring our re-emergence keeps them healthy and sustainable.
I look forward to sharing our values-based re-emergence phases with you in the coming weeks, and always welcome hearing from you in the meantime.
Onward with our community,
Sarah Cody Roth, Executive Director