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Workers unloading diapers from a delivery truck

One Diaper at a Time

Jennifer Armstrong, chief operating officer of nonprofit Baby2Baby, leads a team of extraordinary women bringing life’s necessities to low-income American families

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, more than 11 million children in the United States live below the federal poverty line. To put things in a starker perspective, one in seven children, or almost one-third of all people living in poverty in this country, are growing up without access to basic necessities such as food, shelter, and healthcare. 

Vice President Kamala Harris with Jennifer Armstrong looking at diaper packages
Vice president Kamala Harris (center) and Jennifer Armstrong (right)

Photo by Rachel Borkow


A women-led organization is tackling childhood poverty head-on by providing life-changing relief and developing long-term solutions for struggling families. The Baby2Baby mission is simple—provide every child in a low-income family in America with diapers, clothing, and all basic necessities. Since 2011, Baby2Baby has distributed more than 375 million items to children in homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, foster care, hospitals, and underserved schools, as well as to those who have experienced devastating losses as a result of natural disasters.

“The items we provide to more than one million children a year can seem insignificant—like a pack of diapers or a pair of shoes—but they can change the lives of children and families," says Jennifer Armstrong, chief operating officer of Baby2Baby. 

For Armstrong, working in the nonprofit sector has been a lifelong calling, and she has dedicated her career to helping support low-income families. “It is hard to not help when babies are sitting in dirty diapers and children don't have warm blankets.” 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Armstrong’s father was a first-generation Mexican immigrant who came to the United States as a child with no more than the clothes on his back, while her mother grew up in a low-income Los Angeles community. Described as a “close-knit and hard-working family,” her parents worked seven days a week to ensure that their children had a good education, food on the table, a comfortable home, and everything they could possibly need to succeed in life. While success did not come overnight, her parents’ hard work instilled in Armstrong a drive to give back to the community and paved a path that may never have been possible without their sacrifices.

“My parents are my influences in every way—I see them in the children we work with at Baby2Baby and in the hardworking parents trying to provide for their babies and pull themselves out of poverty,” says Armstrong. “I try to find their drive within me as I work hard and dedicate my career to support these families.”

In addition to her upbringing, Armstrong credits her time as a student at Pepperdine University for sparking her passion for service and nurturing her desire to help children. In between classes and school activities, Armstrong took part in the University’s service opportunities and volunteered as a tutor for children living in low-income communities. Bussed to Downtown Los Angeles with other volunteers each week, she would spend a few hours each week reading and doing homework with young children residing with their families in a dilapidated motel. The volunteers would also bring much-needed school supplies to the children and engage them in crafts, which not only provided critical items to help them succeed in school, but also bring joy to a difficult situation. “It was eye opening and heartbreaking,” Armstrong says.



Armstrong started her post-college career in consumer product marketing. After several years, she began working in the social responsibility department at the Walt Disney Company, where she discovered a personal passion for the nonprofit organizations her team was supporting. One of them was Baby2Baby. At the time, the company’s current co-CEOs, Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer Patricof, had only recently taken over, but they were raising the organization’s profile, and Armstrong had to be a part of it. 

Armstrong became Baby2Baby’s chief operating officer in 2021 and has been a key player in its success for the past decade. Her job requires myriad responsibilities—“I wear many hats at Baby2Baby, as most COOs do, but I like it that way”—including overseeing and running day-to-day operations and working directly with Weinstein and Sawyer Patricof on crucial strategies that help shape and deliver on the company’s impact and initiatives. While Baby2Baby is not unique in its services, Armstrong believes in the values that set the nonprofit apart from similar organizations.

First is the belief that children should never have to suffer because of their circumstances. “There is no judgment or political position that doesn’t agree that children are innocent and deserve better,” she says. The second is the organization’s distribution model, which Armstrong describes as “extremely scalable.” 

“We grew significantly during the pandemic,” she says, referring to the impact of the variety of programs, expertise, and critical nonprofit and corporate partnerships with organizations around the country to expand Baby2Baby’s reach. “We helped five times more children in one year than we had the previous year and went from serving children in 40 cities to 260 cities in all 50 states. Lastly, Armstrong believes that Baby2Bay’s team, who wholeheartedly believes in their mission to combat child poverty, is exceptional. “We have the most dedicated and collaborative team in place who will stop at nothing to reach a child in need,” she says. 


Jennifer Armstrong bent down talking to a Baby2Baby child holding a diaper package

Jennifer Armstrong and Baby2Baby child

Photo by Lawrence Sumulong

“We have the most dedicated and collaborative team in place who will stop at nothing to reach a child in need."


Baby2Baby’s important work has inspired overwhelming support from public figures and professionals alike. The nearly 100 women sitting on its board and among its “Angels” includes Jessica Alba, Drew Barrymore, Mindy Kaling, Kim Kardashian, and Nicole Richie, to name a few. 

“These women have allowed us to use their enormous reach for good and to bring awareness to our work every day,” shares Armstrong. “Their extended networks, social platforms, and media relevance has enabled us to cast a wide net when educating donors about the needs facing families living in poverty and what we can do to alleviate these issues at Baby2Baby.”

Since its present leadership stepped into their roles in 2011, Baby2Baby has grown from servicing 500 low-income children a year to more than one million across the country. While the organization continues to expand its reach, the need for essential items such as diapers is still great. Diapers are consistently the most frequently requested item by the families Baby2Baby serves—in 2021 the company received requests for 1.3 billion diapers. According to Armstrong, the only way to make an impact on this pervasive crisis is to address the problem from different angles. 

“We have successfully advocated to remove the unfair tax on diapers in California and have continued to roll out creative advocacy efforts across the country,” she says. “Our team negotiates sponsorships with our amazing partners at diaper companies to get as many diapers donated as possible for the families in our program.” 

Baby2Baby has gone so far as to recently begin its own diaper manufacturing program. “Making our own diapers to donate to the families we serve has allowed us to produce diapers at 80 percent less than the retail cost and has proven to be the most effective way to reach the most families in need,” she says.



In addition to recently being named the number one nonprofit on Fast Company's “World's Most Innovative Companies” list and a TIME100 Most Influential Company, vice president Kamala Harris toured the organization in May 2023 and announced a partnership between Baby2Baby and the US Department of Health and Human Services to distribute newborn supply kits, including essential goods and maternal health items, to new mothers. The first 3,000 newborn supply kits were distributed to families in Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico and included hygiene items, blankets, and thermometers for newborns, as well as lotions, cold packs, breastfeeding items, and other supplies.

In the wake of the devastating wildfires that ravaged the island of Maui in August 2023, Baby2Baby partnered with numerous on-the-ground organizations such as the Aloha Diaper Bank, Maui Food Bank, Hawaii Diaper Bank, Pacific Birth Collective, and Maui Rapid Response to provide emergency relief to the many families impacted by the fires. Baby2Baby sent hundreds of thousands of emergency supplies including diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, and hygiene products to affected children, and the company raised more than $1 million to support families in Maui.

Armstrong is proud of the organization’s achievements and is optimistic for Baby2Baby’s continued success. “We are looking to grow our diaper distributions and continue to be at the forefront of alleviating diaper need.” She adds, “It's amazing what you can accomplish if you are willing to dive in, work hard, and ask for help.”