As the charitable arm of WLAPOM, Multiple Helpings provides necessities to non-member parents of multiples in the greater Los Angeles area who are in need.
The service is organized by WLAPOM board members Jessica Vanzura & Ana Velouise, who seek out and respond to families, and also directly source donations and organize the collection/drop-off of items on behalf of the club. It typically supports families during the first year from birth, but Multiple Helpings also covers families who are simply in crisis:
“When a twin family in LA lost everything in a fire, we reached out to help - and when a family with triplets also had a special needs 3 year old son, we included him in our help as well.”
Jessica and Ana are often referred to families by social workers at hospitals, local shelters/organizations or school guidance counselors (for high school students who are pregnant with multiples); but they can also be contacted directly or simply referred by a fellow WLAPOM member.
“We also get referrals from Children's Hospital whenever there is a child being treated there who is a multiple.”
After a simple discussion to determine needs; a family is usually supported immediately with a bulk drop-off of items (often diapers/wipes/formula). This is typically a one-time occurrence, but the family can also remain in contact with the club and reach out for more help as needed. For example, one family has been receiving additional support during the Covid-19 pandemic:
“We dropped off a number of things for her before the pandemic started. When the lock-down began it was really hard for her to find diapers, plus it was hard for her to get to a store with two little ones to watch, so we sent her diapers and wipes and other supplies.”
A portion of your annual WLAPOM membership fee goes directly to this service, and additional donations and awareness are essential to its upkeep. Prior to the pandemic, the club helped 5-10 families each year. That number dropped over 2020 due to Covid, but the club is now actively looking for families to extend this service to.
If you are interested in donating a gift card, or know a family who may be in need, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Jess & Ana to get involved with Multiple Helpings: email@example.com
* All quotes from Multiple Helpings Chair, Jessica Vanzura.
** Please note that to maintain our status as a non-profit organisation, members of WLAPOM cannot receive items from Multiple Helpings.