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Maria Berglund is founder of In Kind Boxes, an organization that supports new mothers

COURTESY PHOTO: STEPHEN MAYER  - Maria Berglund (pictured with the heart logo T-shirt) is alongside Kevin Barton and Kathleen McDonough.A Sherwood woman who has a passion for helping brand new mothers with postpartum essentials and support is reaching out to a national organization called Cribs for Kids.

The idea behind Cribs for Kids is to prevent infant sleep-related deaths by educating parents and caregivers on the importance of practicing safe sleep for their babies and providing portable cribs to families who, otherwise, cannot afford a safe place for their babies to sleep.

Cribs for Kids is being helped along by the Washington County District Attorney's office. The DA's office received cribettes from the national organization and is distributing them to low-income families in the county.

According to the district attorney's office, Sherwood resident Maria Berglund saw a post on social media and offered to help.

Berglund is the founder of In Kind Boxes, a volunteer run 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization based in Sherwood that produces gift boxes for moms that are carefully curated and filled with natural and organic essentials for both the new mother and her baby.

Berglund noted the importance of postpartum support for families in need.

"One in seven babies are born in the United States into poverty," Berglund said. "It's really rough. Postpartum also can be a really difficult time for families, so we want to show moms that they matter and that they're not alone. We want to be a part of their village."

In Kind Boxes started in spring, 2019.

"Our first gift boxes became available right before Thanksgiving of 2019," she said. "We've donated over a thousand gift boxes so far in the last two years – we also donate hundreds of boxes to Portland area families through our other non-profit partners."

Born and reared in Canada, Berglund knows the need for community support.

"I was raised by a single mom in need, so I understand the value of community support," Berglund said. "I really made it a point to try and figure out a way to help moms because having a baby can be really difficult and also, on top of that, the financial burden that can have on some families."

Berglund continued, "I wanted to help alleviate some of that stress and be a source of support."

Berglund explained how she reached out to help the district attorney's office and Cribs for Kids.

"Our gift boxes would make an amazing supplement to that program because we offer natural and organic essentials that would help both baby and mom," Berglund said, noting the gift boxes contain products such as organic baby wash, organic blankets, lotions, a book to read and an infant health care kit.

"It's really important for people to have little things like that that, maybe, some families don't think twice about having," she said.

If you wish to help In Kind Boxes, you can visit their website, inkindboxes.org.

"A donation of $55 provides a gift box to a mom in need, but really any amount helps," she said. "Because we're a volunteer-run organization, all of that funding goes straight to the families who need it most."

Berglund is pleased with the response her organization has received.

"The moms are so grateful and so touched because this gift box is truly a gift, it's not just a bunch of things thrown into a bag," she said. "They can't believe that they're gifted such high-quality essentials. Just to know that somebody cares about their well being is really special."

Noting the challenges of having a baby, and the postpartum experience, Berglund added, "Receiving a gift box, it helps you to remember that you're not alone in this experience."


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