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Dec 3, 2019

How Baby2Baby turned one photo into thousands of diapers

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Co-Presidents Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer Patricof talk about how they used celebrities to grow their nonprofit.

The mission of Baby2Baby is simple: give diapers and other essentials like car seats, formula, school uniforms and hygiene products to kids living in poverty.

And Baby2Baby co-presidents Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein have figured out how to do that at scale, thanks in part to the support of celebrities like Jessica Alba and Chrissy Teigen.

“We tell this story a lot,” said Sawyer Patricof as she recounts how she and Weinstein threw a party to announce their new roles as co-presidents of the nonprofit. A photo of two of their guests, Alba and Nicole Richie, ended up in Us Weekly. From there, a public relations firm representing Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies, saw the photo and offered to throw Baby2Baby an event and to give the nonprofit 100,000 diapers. Weinstein said they realized then that “these influencers and celebrities could be a key to our success and growth.”

And it’s worked. Their yearly gala alone regularly raises millions of dollars, but it also helps to raise the nonprofit’s profile. Celebrity attendees, including Mindy Kaling, Jennifer Garner and Kate Hudson all post about the event to their social media feeds. This year, Baby2Baby honored Teigen. Later that evening, she posted an Instagram video of her relocating some of her husband’s Grammys to make room for her award. It has over 700,000 views.

Kelly Sawyer Patricof, in yellow, and Norah Weinstein attend a Baby2Baby back-to-school event in July in Los Angeles. (Courtesy: Baby2Baby)

Their success has allowed Sawyer Patricof and Weinstein to extend their reach outside of Los Angeles, where they are based, to cities across the country. More recently, they’ve launched a disaster relief arm. But they still want to grow.

“We have at all times a waitlist representing over 50,000 children in Los Angeles alone,” Weinstein said.

The team

Nancy Farghalli Executive Producer
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