Dallas Nonprofit Helps Families in Need of Essentials

Viola's House in Dallas set up a giveaway to help mothers in need of essentials for their kids and also have formula available

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Wednesday morning outside Sam Tasby Middle School in northeast Dallas, Viola's House, a nonprofit that helps mothers who may be teens or at-risk for homelessness, set up a giveaway with diapers, wipes and other essentials.

"We are still feeling the effects of the pandemic, so we see that parents are in need of diapers, wipes, clothing, these last few months. We’ve had a huge need for formula," said Thana Hickman-Simmons, founder and executive director of Viola's House.

She was a teen mom herself but said she had a lot of support and realizes that's not the same story for others, which is why she created the nonprofit which has a maternity home for teen moms who are homeless and pregnant between the ages of 18 to 24.

Viola's House is also a social service agency and has a Baby Benefit Boutique, in which people can get vouchers to shop for baby items and also take parenting classes.

Wednesday's giveaway is an extension of what they do. They'll go into the community two to three times a month to give away free resources to parents of kids under the age of 36 months.

They specifically set up in the Vickery Meadows neighborhood, an area that's home to many refugees and low-income families.

"It’s important to serve this area because they don’t have a lot of access to benefits in this area, a lot of mothers will be on foot walking over to this giveaway because they don’t have vehicles to get to where they possibly could get benefits and so we want to show them that we will come right where they are to show them that we will meet the needs that they have in this community," said Hickman-Simmons.

Right now one of the top items needed is formula.

“We get calls every single day for formula, we are grateful we do have formula in our warehouse, so when mothers tell us what type of formula they need we are able to give the formula outside of a voucher," Hickman-Simmons said.

At their Baby Benefit Boutique, located at 3647 Holmes Street, mothers can ask for formula.

She said while one of their main suppliers has had issues getting them new shipments of formula due to the shortage, they do have access through another agency.

"We have a nice supply, but we have to ration it, so if you walk into the boutique it won’t be sitting on the shelving, but the mothers can tell us what kind they need and we’ll go into the back and get it because we want to make sure we have enough to go around for all of the mothers in need," she said.

The Baby Benefit Boutique is open Tuesday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The next giveaway will be on the first Wednesday of July at Skyline High School.

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