Maria Berglund believes that all mothers deserve quality postpartum care, so she launched In Kind Boxes, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization run by volunteers dedicated to providing quality postpartum commodities to new mothers who they need it. He sat down with Jessica Abo to talk about how it promotes good health and well-being among today’s families while reducing inequality.
Jessica Abo: Maria, tell us about In Kind.
Maria Berglund: I started In Kind because after having two of my three children here in the US, I realized the real lack of support families receive here, and I don’t think it’s fair. So I wanted to do something about it. In addition, I was raised by a single mother who needed it, and we relied heavily on our community for the essentials when we were older. This kindness we received has always stuck with me. I’ve always tried to find ways to pay for that kindness, and now I can do it thanks to my work with In Kind.
How do you find the families who receive your boxes?
The way we connect the boxes with the families who need them is through our partnerships with two local organizations and in the United States. The organizations we give to that are outside of Oregon often find us through social media on Instagram. They shake our hand and send us a message saying, “Hey, this is the job we’re doing and how can we help connect the boxes with the families in our area?” If you know of an organization that could use our help, you can contact us through our website inkindboxes.org and I will do my best to help you.
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How can people support you?
If you’re looking at this and our mission really touches your heart, making a donation to In Kind will have the biggest impact. We use the funding we receive to wholesale the staples we fill our boxes with, and then donate them directly to families so I can volunteer my time. Another way to support us is to go to our store page. We have a nice postpartum gift box. It’s the same box we give to families. So when you buy one, we turn around and give one to a family that needs it. There’s also some new merchandise we just posted in our store. Kindness Matters sweatshirts, and the proceeds from selling these items also help us provide the basics to families in need. Other than that, it only helps to raise awareness of our mission. The more we look at our work, the more support we get and the more families we can help.
Since it’s National Smile Day, what makes you smile?
Many things make me smile. My kids make me smile, my family, waking me up every day and doing this job. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I like it so much. It’s the best job, and I’m so grateful to have it. When I receive messages from our partner organizations or from mothers who have received boxes and tell me how much they love them and how special it made them feel, that’s all. So these are the things that make me smile.
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