SANTA MONICA, CA – Parenting isn’t easy, especially in a pandemic. That prompted three women, and now co-founders, to start the Village, a new network that supports obstetricians.
“Anyone who has had a child or works in the birthing room, like my co-founders and I, is experiencing firsthand the difficult path to new parenthood can be,” said Sarah Croce, one of the co-founders, to Patch.
Croce is a DONA-certified birth doula, pre- and postnatal Pilates teacher, yoga teacher and breathing trainer. She and her co-founders, attorney Amira Samuel and gynecologist Christy Tabit Evans, founded the organization during the pandemic to support mothers in need and so far have offered two virtual events for the growing community.
“A lack of support can harm families, damage that can last a lifetime,” said Croce. “The support that The Village offers can have positive effects on births and their children over generations.”
The organization is hosting its first in-person event on September 26th with giveaways, raffles and drinks. It’s an opportunity for parents and families to connect while taking a walk and raise money for new or expectant mothers. Plus, everyone who signs up will automatically be entered into raffle prizes, including a massage, Pilates, a gift card for a flower arrangement, a gift basket for baby equipment from the Santa Monica pumping station, a blowout and cut from the Saulino Smith Salon, and even a jogger -Stroller.
The organization stepped in to help women facing financial challenges during the pandemic and worst recession in US history – all in a country with no family vacations. It pushes families to what the US Treasury Department calls “impractical” conditions for parents in need of assistance, including financial assistance and childcare.
“We provided doula services for two women, childcare for a family, pelvic floor physiotherapy for a woman, and paid the overdue utility bills for a single mother with a sick child,” said Croce.
They also provide funding for these services so that any mother can pay for a doula, babysitter, physical therapist, and other potential health or maternity services.
“Just as we believe mothers deserve support, we believe workers deserve to be paid for their expertise,” said Croce.
“We’re helping obstetricians pay for services that would be covered by insurance in a perfect world, but that’s just not the way the American healthcare system is built at this point,” she added.
The event is just one way the organization hopes to continue supporting mothers and families.
“At the end of the event, you have a chance to win some great raffle prizes, some of which are aimed at mothers, but many of them for all walks of life,” said Croce. “You enter the raffle by simply registering, collecting donations and being able to purchase additional tickets once you are there and see all the amazing items.”
And although it is called “stroller step”, the event is open to everyone, she said. Some people choose to go for a walk by bike, rollerblade, or on foot. How you want to stroll is entirely up to you.
“A non-mom buys a stroller and fills it with a pile of baby toys to push and then donates it all at the end of the walk,” said Croce.
The Village is based in Los Angeles but provides support to families in the United States. Media sponsors are LA Parent Magazine, The Pump Station and St. Andrews Products.
The Village Stroller Stride begins at 9 a.m. on September 26th in the parking lot at 2030 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. It ends at North Beach Park, the beach path on Montana Avenue, with refreshments from Pressed, Primo Passo Coffee, and Paderia Bakehouse. Registration costs $ 26 per person.
Sign up for the event and follow @takesavillagela for more information on the organization.