BABY2BABY CO-PRESIDENTS KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF & NORAH WEINSTEIN ON GALA HONORING JENNIFER GARNER
We chat with Baby2Baby duo Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein about their upcoming gala honoring Jennifer Garner and how locals can help low-income children in Los Angeles.
Can you tell us about the Baby2Baby organization and the children you serve?
KELLY SAWYER PATRICOF: Baby2Baby is a nonprofit that serves low income children from ages 0-12 with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. Here in Los Angeles, we serve 125,000 low-income children and thousands more nationally.
NORAH WEINSTEIN: One out of three moms in this country have had to choose between food or diapers for their baby. That is horrifying. So when we learned more about the poverty, specifically in Los Angeles, we wanted to do something about that. In the last five years, we’ve given out 13 million diapers, amongst many other things.
How does Baby2Baby distribute these diapers and other items?
NW: We work with 107 nonprofits in Los Angeles like the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Homeless Education Program, and the Department of Children and Family Services. We also work with smaller homeless and domestic violence shelters. We give them the items and gear that they need for the children that they are serving. So, we are working collaboratively in Los Angeles to get these basic essentials to as many children as possible.
Can you tell us about your upcoming annual gala and why you choose to honor Jennifer Garner this year?
NW: It is our fifth annual gala and it is an extremely important night for Baby2Baby. We’ve raised millions of dollars that’s critical to the running of our organization. In the past we’ve honored Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Drew Barrymore, and Kerry Washington for the impacts that these women have had on low-income children in this country, and in particular to Baby2Baby in Los Angeles. Jennifer Garner is a no-brainer as an honoree. She has worked for years with these issues. She’s traveled the country doing home visitations to see these families up close and understand poverty first hand. She is incredibly committed to diaper need and to getting children the basics that they deserve. With Baby2Baby, she helped us secure five million diapers and five million wipes over the last two years.
Oren Cove is producing the event. Can you tell us what attendees can expect?
NW: Yifat Oren and Stefanie Cove have been tremendous partners to us as they have designed and produced this event for five years entirely pro bono. The fact that they give back to us all year-round planning this event is extraordinary and allows us to reach our goal, which is to pay for this event through sponsors so the guests’ tickets, tables, and donations go directly to Baby2Baby and the children we serve. We’re also thankful to our sponsors of this year’s gala that include Paul Mitchell, Volvo Cars, Vestiaire Collective, and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. They underwrite the entire event so that we can raise as much money as possible for the children in our program.
KSP: We’re also lucky to have Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Five years ago when we started our gala, we went to them to see if we could come up with something different so it wasn’t the regular rubber chicken dinner at a hotel ballroom. We wanted it to be different and fun. They invite their 20 top chef friends from around Los Angeles, so we’re so lucky to have Jon and Vinny on site to make lobster rolls, Ludo Lefebvre is there to make his delicious food, and all these amazing other chefs are at their stations. The Spare Room makes our delicious cocktails. We always love a ‘90s R&B throwback. We’ve been lucky to have Ja Rule and TLC, and this year we have Boyz II Men.
How can people get involved and help, especially with the holidays around the corner?
KSP: We have an adopt-a-family program called Family2Family. We serve 125,000 low-income children, and unfortunately most of them do go without gifts during the holidays. We reach out to their parents and ask what they are wishing for. So, not only do we have people adopt that family and provide the gifts that they are wishing for, but also the essential items they really need. Maybe they’re wishing for a barbie and a soccer ball, but their mom will tell us they also need warm pajamas, a warm jacket, underwear, socks, shampoo—these basic essential items.