During one of the first Parent Trip events, I noticed one of the raffle prizes included an, ‘In Kind Box’. “What is in an In Kind Box?” I wondered. I had to find out!
When I learned that In Kind Boxes come from a nonprofit on a mission to give back to families in need I swooned. Nonprofits will always hold a special place in my heart. I spent nearly a decade of my life working in the nonprofit & political advocacy sector. So I was even more interested now.
In Kind Boxes are a buy one, give one model. Each box is filled with amazing goodies for new parents. Curated with natural and organic bath and personal care items that help new families get off to a great start!
The kind of high-quality items that you would want to give to your bff at their baby shower. Things like organic diaper balm, a baby healthcare kit, a beautiful swaddle blanket, plus so much more! And the real feel-good comes in knowing that your purchase will give a box to a family in need.
I started following In Kind Boxes on Instagram and loved the content their founder, Maria, was putting out in the world. I was immediately impressed with her work to make pregnant people feel loved and cared for. On Instagram, you’ll find her feed filled with thoughtful messages to new parents encouraging and supporting them often by sharing her own experiences as a mom to three boys. She also has a live series on IG, ‘Mamas Making Impact’, talking with other Mama’s about their motherhood journey and things they are doing in the community.Follow along for inspiration and encouragement from Maria and her guests.
She is doing such amazing work and I’m so excited for you to learn more about Maria and the mission behind In Kind boxes! So read on, and be sure to make it to the end to see the photos from our session.
Get to Know Maria
Did you grow up in Portland?
I grew up in British Columbia, Canada
Tell me about your family?
My husband, our first born, and I moved to the Portland area in 2013, so that we could live near wine country (for his job) but also be close to the city, so we could do fun things with our kids. Since our move, we’ve had two more children, and we love going into Portland.
What is your favorite thing to do in Portland?
This is a really tough question! We love taking the kids to Powell’s Books, and OMSI. We also love all of the different places to hike and bike and enjoy the outdoors.
Your Journey to Start In Kind Boxes
When did you first know you wanted to start In Kind boxes?
I have always loved helping people, and giving back in some way. When we moved here I got involved with our local Moms Club chapter, and saw how necessary it was to bring moms together to support one another and build community. After going through postpartum for the third time, I wanted to give back in a more impactful way. Moms in the United States are not nearly as supported as mothers in other first world countries. I want to be part of the change — moms deserve better.
Why did you want it to be a non-profit?
I wanted it to be a nonprofit because I’m not doing this for money. Even now, everything you see is volunteer work. I give my time because I am so passionate about making a change in the lives of postpartum moms in need. I want people to know that when they donate to In Kind, that their funding is making a direct impact in someone’s life.
In Kind Boxes
When did you first start In Kind Boxes?
I started working on In Kind in April of 2019. We became official on July 11, 2019.
Can you explain the mission statement behind In Kind Boxes?
Our mission is to help moms know they’re not alone in their motherhood journey. We’re here to support them with natural and organic essentials because every mom deserves quality postpartum care.
What can people expect to find within each box?
Gift boxes contain at least a dozen natural and organic essentials for both mama and baby. We purchase the majority of the products we fill our boxes with, so there is a consistent, high standard of items. On occasion, brands will reach out to us with items they would like to donate — if it is a fit with our mission, we gladly accept. We want our boxes to be not only high quality items, but also ones that are useful in those early days/weeks/months of motherhood. It is not a box full of samples and coupons.
Going into business for myself has taught me a tremendous amount about myself as a person. What have you learned about yourself since starting In Kind Boxes?
As with motherhood, it has taught me patience. I am very motivated, and driven, and there are some times where I just have to sit back and be patient — which is really hard, but I’m getting better.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
In 2020 we were able to donate 460 gift boxes to families in need. We are on track this year to surpass that goal. I’d love to hit over 600 boxes donated in 2021.
I enjoy reading and love sharing new book ideas with others. What book would you recommend to new or expecting parents? And please explain why in 1-2 sentences.
I would recommend “Cat & Nat’s Mom Truths” It is a hilarious, and honest book about postpartum and motherhood. I feel it’s important to laugh about motherhood because it can be so serious and stressful sometimes. One other book that I learned about this year, specifically for Black mothers is called “Oh Sis, You’re Pregnant”, by Shanicia Boswell. It’s wonderful as well — packed full of information.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If you are in need of support, please don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.
Sometimes people ask what they can do to support us, besides purchasing a gift box. Two really big helpers besides donating funds are:
*Adding In Kind Boxes as your Amazon Smile recipient
*Supporting us on social media —- help us get the word out about our mission.
Where to find In Kind Boxes:
Check out some of the other rad womxn who have been a part of this series: