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continued to show that the provision of cribs and education had a positive effect on the number of infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly, other or- ganizations around the country began to ask us to share our program with them. Although the distribution sys- tem we were using (giving vouchers to our clients who would then trade them in at Toys R Us for their crib) was not practical in areas of the country where there was not a Toys R Us in a convenient location to the people who needed the program.

It was then that the solution became obvious: we had to treat this non-profit as a business and provide materials to interested partners at discounted prices with a small profit built in to sustain our organization. We had to be the ‘Toys R Us”!! After a very successful meeting with Graco Children’s Products, a Penn- sylvania Corporation located in Exton PA, our business plan was accepted and we became the commercial distributor for the Graco Pack n Play, our ‘crib’ of choice.

The Pack n Play was chosen because of its size, ease of assembly, price and the fact that it could be placed next to the mother’s bedside, a recommenda- tion that had just emerged from the 2005 American Academy of Pediatrics infant safe-sleep guidelines. So that the Cribs for Kids Program would not

become just a crib giveaway program without the benefit of infant safe sleep education, a Trademark License Agreement was developed. By sign- ing this license agreement our new partners agreed that in exchange for permission to use our name and all of our educational materials they would educate each recipient with a clear, concise infant safe-sleep message. We called this message the ABCs of Infant Safe Sleep – babies should sleep Alone on their Backs in a Crib.

Acquiring a warehouse to which the containers of Pack n Plays could be delivered was the next step in our plan. While attending a meeting at the offices of the newly elected mayor of Pittsburgh and member of the SIDS of PA board of directors, Bob O’Connor, I was introduced to a gentleman, Art Schwotzer, who of- fered us a warehouse on the North Shore of Pittsburgh. We were now in a position to order the cribs which came in containers that held 1,513 of these life-saving devices. It wasn’t until the first container arrived that the logistics of the program became evident. Our first order for 100 Pack n Plays came from Flint, Michigan. When asked how much the shipping would be I realized that finding low shipping rates for our partners would mean more babies would be given a safe place to sleep. OCTOBER 2013 33

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