Double the Love
On Saturday, May 13, friends gathered in the parking lot of Lincoln Glen Church for the Gemini Crickets biannual garage sale event. Around 15 families rented space to sell off their twins’ outgrown clothes, toys and accessories and to raise money for the club and to help compensate for the high price of having twins. The Gemini Crickets’ stand is located near the back – a large canopy adorned with green balloons and colorful placards. In the shade of the canopy, a folding table is spread with mouth-watering cookies, cupcakes, homemade double-chocolate Ghirardelli brownies and refreshments guarded by four volunteers. The goodies are being sold to raise money for the Gemini Crickets Families of Multiples of Silicon Valley. But their job was not only of a culinary nature.
Philanthropy Program Meredith, a Gemini Crickets mom with 6-year-old twins, joined the organization when she was 12 weeks pregnant, fearing the obstacles she would face as a first-time parent of twins. Having found a great place where she can connect with other parents and share experiences, she started volunteering with Gemini Crickets early on and is now the Coordinator of GC’s Philanthropy Program. The Philanthropy Program initially started out with stroller, clothes and toys donations for families in need. “We also have a Preemie Closet, where parents can borrow clothes for their premature twins, and that’s a service for the entire club, not just families in need,” Meredith adds. Diapers for the needy “We started the diaper program through jet.com, which created a program called Jet Cares to close the diaper gap.” Jet helps “families in need by providing quality essentials to nonprofits at lower costs,” according to the company website. It also states that “one in three families in the United States lack sufficient access to diapers.” “Lower income families cannot use food stamps on diapers and there are no government programs specifically aimed at providing diapers to this segment of the population,” Meredith continues. In addition, “lower income families can’t afford a Costco membership and some don’t have cars, so a lot of times, they have to buy diapers at a corner shop, where they are more expensive – they can cost up to 50 cents per diaper at a small shop. And especially if you’re talking about newborns, that is a huge expense.” “So Gemini Crickets buys diapers from jet.com at a reduced price and provides them free of charge to those in need.” Since starting the program last fall, Gemini Crickets has done four diaper drives, today’s garage sale being its fifth. Today they are giving just over a month’s supply to eight families. How do the families get the diapers? “There are Gemini Crickets families who volunteer, they are called ‘Adopter Families’ and drive the diapers over or the families can stop by the garage sale and pick them up here.” And why not use cloth diapers, some would ask. “For people who have the time to wash them, cloth diapers are ok, but they’re really hard to get clean and washing your own diapers is really a lot of work.” Especially for people with newborn twins!
Growing like Weeds! Lorena is helping Meredith today with the Diaper Program. She has a boy and a girl aged two-and-a-half and started volunteering with the Philanthropy Program two years ago. What motivates her to do it? “I’m really grateful that I found this program,” she explains. “I was blessed to have my twins and blessed again to find a program that offers such great support so I make it a point to give back where I can.” How has it helped her most? “Economically, definitely. But it is also comforting to know that there are other parents out there going through the same thing as me.” And with two small children, she really appreciates the garage sales as well: “You find nice clothes for your kids and it’s great because they grow out of them so quickly so then you can pass them on to others in need.”