We get a lot of questions about how exactly this organization works. We hope this will answer many of them.
Who is eligible for Village programs?
Everyone is welcome to visit the Village Closet, our donation and distribution site of free baby and kids gear in Cummington, or to attend any of our parents groups, no matter where they are from. While many of our families are from the Hilltowns, we welcome families from all over Massachusetts (and sometimes beyond!).
For our Home Visit Program, any family living in one of the 29 Hilltowns (click here for a list and a map) with a baby under the age of one year old is eligible for a Home Visit volunteer. Fostering and adopting parents are welcome to apply, as well a grandparents or other family members taking care of the newborn. Families are also welcome to apply before the baby’s expected arrival date.
There are NO income requirements for any of our programs, though we will ask for demographic information, which is used anonymously in our grant applications.
When is the Village Closet open?
Normally, the Village Closet is open every Tuesday from 11am-2pm, the first and third Saturdays of each month from 11am-2pm, and one evening each month. If there are school delays or cancellations, if it is a holiday, or if it is during a school break week (like between Christmas and New Year’s), it’s a good idea to double check our Facebook page, where we post if our normal schedule is changing.
It everything really free? How is that possible?
All our programs are always free to families. We receive funding from many organizations, including the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the United Way of Hampshire County, the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Women’s Health Associates of Westfield, the Hilltown Community Health Center, St. John’s Episcoopal Church, and many others. Families never pay for Home Visits or to attend a parents group, and everything at the Village Closet has been donated, so items are always free.
We rely on grants and donations from individuals and organizations to keep these services free, so if you can make a gift, know that your contribution will go directly to these programs. You can learn more about how you can help by clicking here.
We need this in MY area!
Yes you do. Every new family needs and deserves support. If you are interested in starting a “Village” program in your area, we can help. We are currently developing our “tool kit” to help organizations and individuals start their own Village programs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 413-650-3640.