At the Marillac House on the city's West Side, some Chicago teenagers are learning the importance of eating properly while pregnant and reading to their babies. Marrillac is also a place where young parents can come for help. The program relies heavily on donations.
"It means a lot, it really does, because most of the items are things the girls can't afford to go get on their own," Anita Moss, Marillac House, said.
Wilken Hay learned about Marillac House and the need for baby items on the website zealousgood.com. The mother of two said she wanted her new and gently used nursing and baby items to go to families who could really use them.
"The nature of the items, they are very personal items and I wasn't just ready to throw them in the garbage or schedule a pick-up at my house. For whatever reason I wanted to make sure this went to the right person," Hay said. "I'm so happy that these girls will get a chance to have some good stuff to use as they go through this process of being a new mom."
That's the idea behind Zealous Good. It makes direct connections between people and companies who have items to spare and local charitable organizations that need them.
"It's an easy process. It's no harder than donating any other way, but you get to know who's actually benefiting, how they're benefiting and the difference you're making," Brittany Martin Graunke, founder and CEO, Zealous Good, said.
"The swing will help because it helps put her to sleep. . . I feel like an anonymous person just cared a lot about us. I don't need it so maybe somebody else can put it to good use," Antoine Robinson, 19, said.
"It makes me feel grateful. I'm happy that somebody donated the stuff to us so that we will have more to spend on other things that we need," Marquise Lewis, 18, said.