Donna Crocker told us that Heather began Infant Essentials in 2013. The organization provides items for homeless and low income families. Heather is a Cambrian, a member of University Women, was named a Hands On Hero by First Five and a Hometown Hero by KSBY.

The development of Infant Essentials was a journey I began in 2012, Heather explained, when she drove past a homeless couple here in Cambria, holding a sign "looking for work, food, money". She was caught off guard when she noticed that there was a baby in a stroller behind the couple. It happened to be her daughter Gwen's First Birthday and she was coming home from the grocery store having bought food for our 15 person family celebration dinner. she felt guilty for having all of the wonderful things that we have been blessed with, but also felt helpless because what could she offer them that would make a difference in their lives? She ran home and grabbed some baby snacks from our cupboard and brought them along with $20 to the couple. They were very thankful, but Heather didn't feel any

better.

Heather said that she embraced the moment and finally put her Community Health Degree back to work and began a needs assessment. She discovered pretty quickly that diapers are in high demand amongst the homeless community. Neither the Food Stamps nor WIC programs offer diapers or diaper discounts, and none of our shelters or day centers here in SLO have the ability to store or distribute goods like diapers. Having found this information she established a non-profit organization called Infant Essentials. The goal is to provide necessary comforts to homeless and low income infants 0-3 years old.

Heather received requests for diapers, pull ups, car seats, strollers, etc. from 14 agencies around the county that have identified families in need on the North Coast. There are currently 700 homeless diaper-aged children in SLO County. In addition to the homeless population, organizations such as RISE and Stand Strong contact Infant Essentials when they identify women with infants escaping violence.

Heather thanked us for the diapers and other items we donated at our meeting.

You can learn more about Heather’s work or make a donation at https:// www.infantessentials.org/ We were please to announce to Heather that our Community Service Committee voted to make a donation to Infant Essentials and Bob Kasper invited her back to accept a “Big Check” (along with an actual one).