Mother House Opens Pop-Up Shop in Boulder to Help Young Families

This story was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists: Region 9 Mark of Excellence Awards 2019.


Mother House, a Boulder-based nonprofit that provides a safe haven for pregnant mothers and their babies, opened a holiday pop-up shop on 28th St. in Boulder in November. The pop-up shop is collecting donations from the community to give to pregnant women in need throughout the holiday season.

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    Mother House Opens Pop-Up Shop in Boulder to Help Young Families KGNU News


Lisa Sweeney-Miran, the Executive Director of Mother House, said women in need can come into the shop and fill a laundry basket with things they need for their babies, and they can also take a larger item like a stroller or crib.

“We have cribs, we have strollers, we have bouncers, we have walkers, we have baby bath tubs.”

When a mother in need comes into the shop, she can check in with an ID and proof of need. Then she can pick up a basket to fill with things. When she’s finished, the Mother House staff checks off her items and helps her transfer them into a bag or a box to take home, free of charge. Once she’s checked in, she can come into the shop as often as once a week. As a mother of three herself, Sweeney-Miran said she knows how hard it is to take care of a child even when you have all you need.

“I think for many of us in the community, we had all the support we could possibly imagine when we had our first children, and it was still unimaginably difficult. So, when we think about the women who stay at our shelter who are having that experience, and then on top of it, dealing with food insecurity and not having a stable place to live, it’s almost unimaginably difficult.”

Nicole Puma is a mother who stopped by the shop on Nov. 13 to pick up items for her soon-to-be son Nicholas, who’s due to arrive next month. She said a friend of hers who was due to have her baby on Nov. 13 recommended Mother House to her.

“It’s just stuff that I wouldn’t be able to have for my baby, and you know, I want him to have it all, and make sure that he has warm clothes and diapers and blankets and stuff that I’ve kind of struggled to find.”

Because of the pregnancy, Puma said she hasn’t been able to work lately. She’s been sleeping on her brother’s couch with her four-year-old, but she applied for housing with Mother House so that she and her children can have a permanent residence. She said she feels very lucky.

“Boulder is just, it’s a very different place, but I know that there’s so much in Boulder and so many people that are willing to help, and I know that they have wonderful resources.”

Jamee Fitzpatrick brought her four-month-old daughter Dawn into the shop on Nov. 13 to look for clothes. Fitzpatrick was also shopping for clothes for her two older boys.

“We’ve got three kids, and she wasn’t allowed to be in day care for the first four months, so I had to be out of work, so we’re struggling a little bit. And they’re all at that point where they’re all getting bigger. I need more clothes and we’re running out really fast.”

Fitzpatrick said the shop took a lot of stress away from her as a new mother and she plans on using the resource again if she needs to in the future. Sweeney-Miran said Mother House, which is currently located on 21st St. and Pearl St. in Boulder, is trying to sell their building and move to a bigger one where they hope to set up a permanent donation shop. A bigger home means they can support more women.

Sweeney-Miran, the Executive Director of Mother House, says it feels great to have a place where people who have more than they need can donate to people who need a little extra. Until the end of December, anyone who would like to donate to the pop-up shop can email [email protected] or call (303)447-9602. The community can donate any of the items Sweeney-Miran mentioned earlier, cold weather gear and unopened gift items like toys that any parent would be pleased to have their child open under a Christmas tree. After the holiday season, Mother House will still accept donations via email, phone or online.

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