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Lisa Sweeney-Miran and Cynthia Gabino organize maternity tops at the Mother House holiday pop-up store at 3119 28th St., Boulder.
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Mother House has supported over 850 women and children in its 37-year history in Boulder. This holiday season, it’s hoping to extend its helping hand even further.

The organization has opened a pop-up store in Tebo Plaza Shopping Center for anyone in need. However, this store doesn’t take money. The items, which have been donated by 150 community members, are free to those who can show proof of need. Executive Director Lisa Sweeney-Miran said customers can flash their Medicaid, Women, Infants and Children, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards or a community referral for verification.

Sweeney-Miran said the organization chose this time of year because it can be especially difficult for parents in need to provide for their children.

“With the holidays coming up, it means budgets are stretched thinner, so folks might be trying to decide between things they need and things they want to put under a tree, which is a tough decision to make,” Sweeney-Miran said. “And it’s a great time when we can say, ‘we’re here, let us help ease that load for you.’”

So many items have been donated by community members that the large cardboard boxes that line the walls overflow with clothes for infants and young children and diapers. In one corner of the shop sits a table teeming with toys. Moms can also pick up a few things for themselves. Racks in the middle of the small space are stocked with maternity attire and other women’s clothes.

“Boulder is a place where so many folks are really, really blessed to have more than they need,” Sweeney-Miran said. “Having a way for them to be able to pass that on to folks who don’t have enough is just such an obvious and easy fit for our community.”

Families may fill a large laundry basket with small items, like clothes, and choose one large item, like a stroller, to take with them as well. Sweeney-Miran estimates that each basket can hold about 4-5 full grocery bags. Shoppers can come back one time per week, as new items go up on display every day. Although customer flow is unpredictable, 95 families have filled 135 baskets since the store opened.

The storefront for the pop-up was donated to the organization by Tebo Properties for six weeks, from Nov. 11 through Dec. 22.

Throughout the year, Mother House operates a six-bedroom residential community for at-risk women who are expecting or new mothers. Sweeney-Miran said Mother House takes in women who don’t have another place to go, and just this year its helped 22 women and 18 infants.

Former Mother House resident Cynthia Gabino now works for the organization as a direct care staff member. Over a year ago, Gabino had been incarcerated and then sought treatment at Aspen Center in Westminster. She said the program gave her opportunities she may not have had otherwise.

“I think it was definitely a life changer for me,” Gabino said. “They just helped open a whole new world for me, basically.”

Gabino said that having experienced a time of need herself, it’s important for at-risk women to have this resource.

“I think it’s awesome, especially so close to the holidays,” Gabino said. “It’s a great opportunity for people to come, you know, get what they need. It feels nice to know that there is a place that is actually helping women who are struggling.”

If you go:

What: Mother House holiday pop-up store

When: 12-4 p.m., seven days a week, through Dec. 22Where: Tebo Plaza shopping center, 3119 28th St., BoulderAlso: Items are free with proof of need, such as a Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or a Women, Infants and Children ID card or a referral from a community service.

 

 

 

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