A single mother of 3 children walked into Austin Pregnancy Resource Center (APRC) with nothing. Not even support. The death of her brother and the unpleasant relationship she had with her mother had her feeling hopeless. There are many cases like this where mothers don’t have the resources necessary to raise their children, so they go to APRC to get food, diapers, clothes, and many other resources that will benefit and make them feel at ease after stressful times.
APRC is a non-profit organization that provides not only resource closets full of resources, but sonograms, pregnancy tests, referrals, support groups, mentorships programs, and other helpful services. Pokemoms faced one of the problems that APRC was facing. Our challenge is to find an efficient system to organize materials that will benefit not only the volunteers but the clients. Our goal was to organize the materials in a way that will be easier to access and know what’s available.
Our vision for this project is to help APRC with what they need along with the mothers, so we are doing the best we can to come up with a solution that will have a big impact on these individuals. One of the solutions that came to mind was a google form, similar to an excel spreadsheet, but this system was used in the past and became too overwhelming. Another idea we’ve acquired is a paper based system that requires notecards with details about the inventory in which are organized by closets. We realized using a paper based system can become too cumbersome and not the most efficient system. We’ve decided to think more broadly and connect our ideas of color coding and organizing materials by closet, we’ve decided to create a system where donations are placed in three different bins and these bins are labeled by closet. If the staff is open to taking in donations the first two weeks of the month and close off donations the last two weeks and spend that time organizing their materials, this will benefit the organization of the closets.
We talked to several organizations and people that undergo the need of organization, specifically masses of items that need to be organized. We talked to Savers Thrift Store to see how they organize the many donations that come in to them daily. We also talked to our school librarian to see how they organize the book and to a teacher who keeps track of tools around the school. We’ve played around with programs like google forms that provide templates like excel sheets. We have also brainstormed using mindomo where our ideas ranged from small to big and expensive. We have proposed all of these ideas to APRC but unfortunately it’s not the exact system they are looking for given that they receive loads of in-kind donations and need a system that will be fast and easy for them.
According to the overall year report, boutique visits was the highest request from mothers when coming to APRC so the importance of the closets is significant. Out of the 1,591 clients, 993 go to APRC for the boutiques. The boutiques are important to not only the moms, but to the volunteers because their service is making a great impact.
The solution we will come up with will prove to be effective because the resource closets will be organized. The organization of the resources closets means that the volunteers will be able to find what is available and be able to provide mothers with the resources they need, which is the main goal of this project. To ensure that our solution has helped APRC, we will definitely follow up with the them via email.