Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin's Capital Campaign
The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin is excited to plan for the future of our organization and meet the needs of infants and families we serve by building a new state-of-the-art facility in which we will:
• Double our current milk production
• Create a new milk product that will save more lives of tiny infants
• Become a community resource for educating and supporting families through their parental and breastfeeding challenges
But, we need YOUR help.
As of August 1, 2017, we have raised 60% of the $2.9 million needed for the renovation and fit-out of the building we purchased. Your financial support is needed NOW so that we provide the much-needed space and equipment for our laboratories, advance our research and development program, serve the families who need our local community support, and save the lives of our most medically fragile infants.
Check our updates below as we prepare for our move. To see the latest developments, check out our "Watch Us Grow" facebook album.
Many of you joined us earlier this year for our Sip & Slab event to celebrate the future home of the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin, but do you know WHY we're moving?
Since our founding in 1999, the Milk Bank has grown exponentially. We have dispensed nearly five million ounces of donor human milk to thousands of premature and other medically fragile babies. We now serve over 130 hospitals in Texas and 22 other states, and we mentor new and developing milk banks in the U.S. and abroad. And our research promises improved outcomes for the 60,000+ infants born every year in our nation with a medical need for donor human milk.
But now our growth is blocked by lack of space. Freezers have taken over our filing room, conference room, and individual offices. Former storage rooms have been converted to laboratories. Our milk production is limited to 12,000 ounces per week, but demand for donor milk is increasing as more hospitals understand its benefits. We receive phone calls frequently from parents seeking parenting and lactation advice, yet we have no space to properly host or counsel them. Our research and development has been halted, as we lack space for the required laboratory equipment.
Our new building, formerly a hardwood showroom and warehouse, will provide nearly four times as much space and state-of-the-art processing and research facilities. We can double milk production over the next two years to save more lives. We’ll support our community by offering lactation and parenting classes and providing a safe place for families to share their stories. And we’ll resume the R&D program to revolutionize the feeding of our most fragile infants.
Construction, equipment, and furnishing for the building project will cost $2.9 million, and we have about half of the needed funds in hand. Can you help us now to build the future Milk Bank? We, the babies, their parents, and dedicated healthcare providers in 23 states will thank you.
Nothing like a vibrant blue to usher in spring and brighten up the space! As we guide donors through the construction site they can’t help but smile when they see this pop of color, and neither can we!
Construction continues with the installation of drywall and ceiling and wall insulation. Crews are also renovating bathrooms and installing plumbing for the sink in the lactation room.
The transformation of the building is exciting, but so are the stories we hear frequently from the contractors, inspectors, and others who are helping make this dream a reality. Every visit to the site brings a new story of someone who is the parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, or friend of a family whose infant who was born too soon or too ill and needed donor human milk. We’re in awe of just how far our work reaches within our ever-growing circle, and yet with more than 60,000 infants born every year with a medical need for donor human milk we know all too well how many still desperately need our help.
The construction crew has started to install the drywall that will separate the milk bank from the space that will be occupied by our future tenant. They are also framing out the spaces for our new laboratories --- which are expanding not only in size but number --- the community classroom which will hold 30 people, board room, donor screening room, children’s playroom, and offices for staff.
With nearly four times as much space as our current facility, MMBA will be able to better serve our most vulnerable infants, medical professionals, and our community.
Facility Spotlight: Walk-In Freezers
The plumbing and foundation for the walk-in freezers is officially complete. In our current facility the 20+ stand-alone freezers have taken over our filing room, storage areas, and personal offices. The four new walk-in freezers are a much more effective way to store donor human milk, and they’re more energy efficient. We will still have some stand-alone freezers in the new space, including one in the Milk Donor drop off area. When moms, dads, grandparents, or friends drop off frozen donor milk at the new facility they will witness the first step of our milk processing—logging donor milk into our system and safely storing it until its ready to be processed. Visitors will also be able to tour the facility and safely observe the milk processing operations.
We kicked off the New Year by inviting all of our friends, families, and supporters to join us at the new building for our Sip & Slab Celebration.
Guests enjoyed a sneak peek of the building and toured the open space with MMBA staff. Following the tour we invited guests to visit with recipient families and milk donors, leave messages of hope on the walls for those who have or will pass through our doors, and to raise a glass and toast the future. As we walked through the space reading the messages on the walls written by the hundreds of supporters who joined us, we’ll readily admit our eyes were a little teary and our hearts were filled with joy. We cannot thank our supporters enough for helping make this dream possible. The staff, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and all of the babies and families we serve THANK YOU!
The tenant who previously occupied the building has moved out and construction crews moved in to start the demolition and renovation of MMBA’s future home.
Located near the rapidly-redeveloping Highland Campus of Austin Community College, the property offers generous parking, easy access by car, bus and rail, and space for a children’s play area.
After renovation the 29,000 square-foot building will house a 15,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art milk bank and community services facility; 4,000 square feet (just slightly smaller than our current facility) will be reserved for future expansion; and 10,000 square feet will be available for lease. The budget for the renovation and fit-out is $2.9 million.
For the first time in our history the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin Board of Directors authorizes the purchase of a building.
Since 1999 the milk bank has leased four different spaces, including the current space at 2911 Medical Arts. As the demand for donor human milk has increased, and operations have expanded to serve more babies, the milk bank has had no choice but to move to a larger space.
After operating at capacity for the last two years, the MMBA Board knew we were at a critical juncture in our history—move once again to a space that would be suitable for a couple years or invest in a building that would allow us to grow, thrive, and save more lives.
Leave a legacy and help the Mother’s Milk Bank at Austin do the same by considering a donation today. For more information please contact Tedrah Robertson, Development Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512.494.0800.