How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Royal Baby Is Helping Children Across the U.S.
Last month, the royal couple thanked fans via their new Instagram page for the virtual “baby shower” encouraging charitable donations to celebrate Baby Sussex. They also gave four suggestions on child-focused organizations if people were still looking to participate, including Los Angeles-based charity Baby2Baby.
But founders and co-presidents Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer Patricof had no idea that they were on the royals’ radar — they found out like the rest of the world when the Instagram post was shared.
Baby2Baby, which provides young children living in poverty with diapers, clothing and other basic necessities, has seen an influx in donations ever since, with another spike after the newest member of the royal family arrived Monday.
“We were thrilled and overwhelmed at the support,” Weinstein tells PEOPLE. “We believe that the fact that the Duchess is from Los Angeles was what prompted her to highlight L.A., where Baby2Baby is based. We felt particularly grateful that she was highlighting an American organization.”
Sawyer Patricof says they’re seeing a new donor base – and from all over the map.
“Our donors are generally mostly in the U.S., so to have people from Guadalajara to Italy donating to Baby2Baby has been really exciting,” she says. “Not only have we received the monetary donations but also so many of the basic essentials that we distribute have been growing – cribs, diapers, toothbrushes, baby blankets, pajamas, all sorts of product donations of the basic essentials that we provide to children in need.”
Many of the donations are rather small, but Weinstein says they make a huge impact.
“Whether the donations are big or small, the monetary donations are all so important to the work that we do because a $10 donation can help provide diapers or blankets or car seats or strollers or backpacks,” she explains. “So we’re equally thrilled when we get a massive donation as when we get many small ones that add up and make a significant difference.”
Weinstein and Sawyer Patricof have not been in communication with the new parents – although they did send a thank you note! – but they are confident that Meghan and Harry will make amazing parents.
“Any mom – especially a Duchess, but any mom – who takes this occasion and turns it around to use it for children in poverty is someone who we have such great admiration for,” says Weinstein. “She needs very little advice because her understanding of these issues is so apparent already.”
She adds, “To anyone else, we would just hope that they would follow in the Duchess’ footsteps and use big occasions in their lives when they’re so fortunate to give back as well.”
The organization has a number of celebrity supporters, including board members Julie Bowen, Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie and Rachel Zoe as well as Giving Tree Award recipients Kate Hudson and Drew Barrymore.
“Once you become a mom and you see how much you need and what’s required and how expensive baby essentials are, I think you realize that there are mothers out there that are struggling to provide these basic essentials to their babies,” Sawyer Patricof explains. “We’ve been very lucky to have so many high-profile women involved. They’re all moms, and I think they all understand that.”