Advocates for Children – Boston Medical Center Grow Clinic
Every year we select a group to support as Advocates for Children. This year we will be supporting the Boston Medical Center Grow Clinic. We are starting off this year-long project with a new toy and book collection for their annual holiday party, followed by a diaper and wipe collection in February, and a vitamin collection in May.
The Grow Clinic was founded in 1984 by Dr. Deborah Frank, the current director. It provides comprehensive specialty medical, nutritional, developmental and social services and dietary assistance to children from the Greater Boston area referred with Failure to Thrive (FTT) by their primary care physician. FTT means that these very young babies and children are not growing properly because they do not receive enough nutrition.
Some of the children served by the Grow Clinic and their families have multiple contributing factors such as homelessness and food insecurity, all are well below the poverty level. Many of the families are on the edge financially. A job loss or an employer imposed cut back in work hours can force these families to make dire decisions about whether to reduce food budgets or to become homeless. The financial pressures put the families into impossible situations. When a little child (0-5 years of age) doesn’t receive proper nutrition FTT is the result with devastating long term issues. To tackle this problem the Grow Clinic provides a team of clinicians, a pediatrician, a nutritionist, an outreach worker, and a social worker, to help each patient and the family/caregiver. They also provide basic needs such as diapers, formula, food, clothing, grocery gift cards, etc. for the patients and their families.
All children deserve to have their basic needs met but children also deserve to have joy in their lives. To partially meet this need every year a Holiday party is held for the patients and their families. At the party gifts are distributed to the young patients and their siblings. If a family is unable to attend a bag with gifts is prepared and given to them at their December clinic appointment. The Grow Clinic serves about 154 families from around Boston as well as 20 families at a satellite office in Brockton. Grow counts on the generosity of friends and supporters to provide the gifts and the other resources required to make this special celebration happen. The needs of the children and their families are great but the generosity of our community is even greater!
Our club members donated more than 50 children’s books and 50 toys to the Grow Clinic’s holiday party. In addition the club donated money that was used to purchase more than 60 additional books in multiple languages. Pictured below are the donations from the club women.
Thank you for supporting the Grow Clinic and for being Advocates for Children!!