Groovy Granny starts 'baby cart' for parents in need during COVID-19 outbreak

Michelle Whips, known as “Groovy Granny,” stands in front of the Baby Cart that holds baby formula, diapers, wipes and other items for people who need help getting by during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Groovy Granny often raises funds for good causes in the community and her newest venture offers baby formula and supplies to moms who need help during this time.

Michelle Whips, who is best known by her nickname, said her effort began with a post she saw on the North Platte Canteen for COVID-19 Facebook page.

“There was a mom that jumped on and said that she couldn’t find any Gentlease formula anywhere for her baby and she was almost out,” Granny said. “I threw out a post just like I do with my fundraising and said, this is what I need.”

From those few cans of formula, Granny’s work turned into what she is calling her “baby cart.”

“Within a couple of days, this cart was full of diapers and wipes and formula and baby food,” Granny said. “People come in and trade whatever they can’t use for what they need.”

She said bringing something to trade is not necessary. Whoever needs the items can just pick them up, although she is asking moms to take just one can of formula so she can stretch the supplies out to help others as well.

“A lot are in need as more get laid off and don’t have income,” Granny said. “I know of a family with a little one that’s about 18 months old, she’s laid off from her daycare job, his hours are cut so they have no income to buy the baby food.”

Granny said there are more and more families like that starting to come around.

“People need toilet paper,” she said with a laugh. “They also need wipes, larger size diapers, sanitizer, but I’m trying to keep it specifically to diapers, wipes and formula.”

In addition, people are donating baby cereal, food, bread and canned goods.

“Then I started selling the T-shirts because I was running out of formula,” Granny said. “They’re $15 a shirt and $5 from every shirt goes toward buying more formula.”

Granny said Photographic Images reached out and said they are giving gift certificates for a free family session for donations.

“So anyone who brings me diapers, wipes or formula would get a gift certificate for a family session once everything is clear and they can start working again,” Granny said. “Down the hall, Nails by Devon is selling gift certificates and donating a portion of her sales towards formula as well.”

She said she gets involved with these fundraisers because she sees the need.

“I can’t help myself, it’s just that God leads me,” Granny said. “When I reopened my store six weeks ago, I had three fundraisers going in the store. I try to always have a fundraiser going.”

For now, the building at 509 E. Fourth St., Suite A, inside the Boardwalk, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

“If someone needs to come in after that, one of the owners of Chabby Chic has offered to come down and meet people because I live so far out of town,” Granny said.

She asked that folks send her a message on her Facebook page at facebook.com/groovygrannys or call at 308-520-7158 to set up an after hours appointment. Granny said she would pick up donations if people have formula or other items to donate to the cause.

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