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Saskia Epstein

I am excited to share with you that Room to Grow has recently initiated a strategic planning process with McKinsey & Company. We are truly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a team of expert consultants who are generously donating their services. Over the next six months, Room to Grow's executive team and a strategic planning committee of the board of directors will be working to develop long-term goals and objectives for growth and sustainability.


Room to Grow was founded in 1998 in New York City and expanded to Boston in early 2005. This year, 650 low-income children and their families will make nearly 2,600 visits to Room to Grow. Room to Grow serves families who are living at, or well below, the poverty line, yet more than 57% hold full or part-time jobs. Single mothers head 68% of the families we serve and approximately 40% of participants are immigrants. Across the United States, 44% of children under the age of three live in low-income households and 22% in extreme poverty. [1]


Despite the prevalence of childhood poverty throughout our nation, an independent national review conducted in 2008 by Chartwell Education Group determined that Room to Grow is the only organization of its kind in the country. Room to Grow's unique model combines clinical support and essential material items, and strategically delivers its services in the first three years of life, the most critical period of development for a growing child. We aim to prepare children for a successful transition to school, ultimately leading to positive outcomes later in their lives.


Engaging in strategic growth and ensuring sustainability are delicate endeavors. Thus we are eager to also leverage the expertise and enthusiasm of our current and past stake-holders to ensure our strategic planning effort is well informed and properly guided. We would be so pleased and grateful if you shared your thoughts  with us about your experience with Room to Grow.

Please contact me to learn more about how you can support our strategic planning process, or to learn more about Room to Grow, visit us and see for yourself the warm and inviting program space and the excitement of our program in action!


Best regards,


Saskia Epstein

Executive Director


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[1] "Early Childhood Profile," National Center for Children in Poverty, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.

 CLIENT SNAPSHOT: The Importance of Early Intervention
Reading Boy

Jessica and Carlos were expecting their first child while they were both still in high school. Since enrolling in the Room to Grow program, they have come together to every appointment, armed with endless questions about their son Ricardo to make sure he was growing and thriving. At his 21-month visit, Ricardo was still not speaking, so his social worker Rebecca recommended a referral to Early Intervention, a federal program free to all children who are at risk for developmental delay. Early Intervention thoroughly assessed his language skills and it was determined that Ricardo would benefit from speech therapy. Jessica and Carlos were committed to help their son learn to communicate, and they worked weekly with Ricardo's speech therapist at their home who showed them how to encourage more words from him. At the age of three, when Ricardo graduated from Room to Grow he was enrolled in preschool and talking more than ever. Room to Grow also helped Ricardo's parents achieve their own educational goals. Jessica graduated from high school and completed a medical assisting program and Carlos is working towards a career in carpentry. In a follow-up interview six months after graduation, Jessica said, "I am grateful for the help Ricardo received, especially that Rebecca noticed that he needed extra support in his speech. Now he is speaking much better." 


February | 2011

Tummy to Toes 

For a second year, Boston Cares, the Boston Globe and Building Impact hosted Tummy to Toes, a community-wide shoe drive in the month of February that will help our babies navigate the streets of Boston safely throughout the year. Clarks kicked off the drive with a donation of 800 pairs of shoes, hundreds more were  donated by generous individuals and we are still counting.

February | 2011

Have a Heart Photo Contest 

In celebration of Valentine's Day, Safety 1st hosted a Have a Heart photo contest to support Room to Grow. For every entry the company received, Safety 1st donated infant health care products to families in New York City and Boston. Room to Grow received 277 Safety 1st health care kits as a result of this Valentine's Day contest.



New Permanent Drop-off Locations for Baby Items 

For residents of the south shore, Room to Grow is offering three new permanent collection sites to drop-off new and nearly new baby items. The newly opened Isis Parenting in Hanover, Mamas Move in Norwell and the Goddard School in Walpole are all collecting baby clothes, toys, books and gear to help babies born into poverty.  Click here for hours and directions.

AzureSince joining the volunteer program in January 2010, Azure McAllister has been a dedicated volunteer, assisting with weekly inventory sorting and special events. Her warm personality, organizational skills, and perfect folding techniques make her a valuable member of our team. "As a mother of two young children, I am intimately aware of the challenges of navigating parenthood in the early years of a child's life. Having a good support system is crucial," says Azure. "As a volunteer at Room to Grow, it is a great joy knowing I can contribute in some small way to this important program." We are so appreciative of Azure's wonderful enthusiasm and ongoing commitment.

Room to Grow achieves powerful results through its unique model that leverages the wealth of resources in a city - thousands of volunteers such as Azure, dozens of businesses willing to donate their services and products, families with baby items that their children have outgrown, and a vast array of pre-natal and social service programs - to provide much needed support to families. Still, Room to Grow needs your help to ensure thousands of additional babies grow up with a strong foundation for a bright future.To learn more about volunteer opportunities click here.

Moody Blues

March 26 | 2011

Diaper Derby and Hip Baby Gear Kids' Event  

March 26 is a busy day with face painting and music at Hip Baby Gear in Marblehead, and the annual Diaper Derby at the South Shore Plaza. Both events will serve as collection sites for Room to Grow to acquire new and gently used baby essentials. Click here for more information.


April 6 | 2011

Moody Blues: Parenting to your child's temperament   

We want to share what we've learned with our community of supporters, so please join us on Wednesday, April 6, from 6-7 p.m., for a special night at Room to Grow. Every child is born with much of his or her personality well established. This can pose a challenge, especially if you have different traits. With the guidance of Dr. Maureen O'Brien and her wonderful sense of humor, learn to identify and appreciate your child's unique temperament. Parents of children of all ages are welcome. This is also an excellent opportunity to visit Room to Grow, to learn about our program, and to find out about various you can help support babies born into poverty. To RSVP or learn more, contact Elizabeth or call 617.859.4545.  


May | 2011

Celebrating Mothers

Please join us at Room to Grow's 2nd annual Celebrating Mothers event. Guests will be treated to inspirational remarks by mothers served by Room to Grow. Click here to receive an invitation and learn more about the event including available sponsorship opportunities. Details to follow.  


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