The luncheon raised nearly $250,000 towards Baby Buggy’s ongoing efforts to support fathers in need. In the United States, 1 out of every 4 children under age five lives in poverty. Forty-three percent of families living in poverty are headed by a single mother, which contributes to their economic challenges. In fact, children in father-absent homes are 4 times more likely to be poor than children in two-parent homes, and for these reasons, Baby Buggy decided to expand its reach to focus on fathers.
Seinfeld spoke about the partnership between Baby Buggy and fatherhood programs, and the success of his wife Jessica's nonprofit started 14 years ago. The audience also heard from Alan-Michael Graves, Director of Project Fatherhood at The Children’s Institute, Inc. (CII) who explained that most of their fathers don’t have resources, and that Baby Buggy’s donations, along with the fatherhood program services, help make fatherhood present on a daily basis. Three fathers from the Fatherhood Program at CII were present and shared their personal experiences with guests.
“I was honored to share this day with amazing fathers whom I also call friends,” said Seinfeld. “The work that Baby Buggy does is instrumental in a father’s life, and in the lives of their children, and I am grateful that so many people came out to support it.”
Guests at the luncheon included Baby Buggy Founder and Board President Jessica Seinfeld, in addition to Jason Alexander, Judd Apatow, Jason Bateman, Seth Green, Kevin Hart, Jay Leno, Bill Maher, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Richards, Bob Saget, Dax Shepard, Michelle Trachtenberg, James Van Der Beek, George Wallace, David Walton, and more. The event was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, rag & bone, and United Talent Agency, with additional support from Esquire. The event was generously underwritten by Bruce Bozzi and Palm Restaurant. Fatherhood Leadership Council members and lunch guests promoted the initiative by posting photos with #BabyBuggyFatherhood @LoveRecycled.
“The combination of the gear we provide and the services offered by our partners has shown incredible positive results helping fathers on their journey to becoming better dads,” said Baby Buggy Vice President of National Programs, Dr. Laurel Parker West. “Because of our generous supporters we will be able to add four new fatherhood program sites, expand our services and provide more meaningful experiences for fathers and their children, and measure the impact of our work to ensure our partnerships are working smarter and are highly tailored for our dads.”
In total, through its two New York and Los Angeles events, the Baby Buggy Fatherhood Initiative has raised nearly $500,000. Since May 2010, Baby Buggy has distributed 338,060 items through 17 different programs to over 20,383 dads and their children. In Los Angeles, the Baby Buggy Fatherhood Initiative works with fathers through The Children’s Institute, Inc. (CII), a non-profit serving at-risk children and families affected by child abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and gang and community violence. CII’s Project Fatherhood includes thirteen different programs offered at different locations in the Los Angeles area. These culturally diverse programs offer a comprehensive range of services including individual and family counseling, job training, financial literacy, healthy marriage workshops, anger management training, parent-child enrichment activities, legal workshops and consultations, as well as employment assistance.
The Baby Buggy Fatherhood Leadership Council is comprised of fathers who are deeply passionate about their own role as dads, and they will help raise funds and awareness for the initiative. Council members include Jerry Seinfeld (Chair), Jason Alexander, Jason Bateman, Neil Blumenthal, Matt Bomer, Bruce Bozzi, Rob Buccini, Ty Burrell, David Burtka, Christian Carino, Matt Cherwin, Camille Chidiac, Common, Mark Consuelos, Shawn “Pecas” Costner, Victor Cruz, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Eric Eisner, Jack Essig, Spike Feresten, Alex Gorsky, David Granger, Simon Halls, Neil Patrick Harris, Kevin Hart, Hugh Jackman, Mitch Jacobs, Jaha Johnson, Woody Johnson, Boris Kodjoe, Jay Leno, Greg Lippmann, Blaine Lourd, Steve Mosko, Nas, David Neville, Rob Prinz, Michael Richards, Bob Saget, Adam Scott, George Shapiro, George Stephanopoulos, Steve Stoute, Michael Strahan, Michael Tiedemann, James Van Der Beek, Dwyane Wade, Marcus Wainwright, George Wallace, Howard West, Mel Woods, and Jeffrey Wright.