(NewsNation) — With the ongoing baby formula crisis impacting families from coast to coast, one Texas mom has stepped up with an interactive solution to help parents in need.
Marcela Young, a working mother from Houston, used the online mapping tool Proxi to create an interactive map to help combat baby formula shortages.
“I’m a mother myself, even though I don’t use formula, I’ve got a 9-month-old son,” Young said. “But just hearing about the formula shortage, and the recalls and all that, and actually seeing the empty shelves in the stores, it really hit me as a parent. And just knowing other moms — friends who do rely on formula — it just really hit hard for me. Just because the thought of not being able to feed my son would be awful.”
Young taught herself to use Proxi and created the map.
It allows users to highlight their need for baby formula or breast milk and list their contact information and general location to ask for assistance.
Users can also post if they are able to donate formula or breast milk. The map allows users to post the locations of milk banks or stores where formula is being sold.
Young initially shared her map with friends on social media, but media coverage helped it reach hundreds of users nationwide. There have even been users who stepped up to offer baby formula from locales as far away as the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
In addition to the map, Young has also created social media pages to help families connect with each other. The Facebook group Fighting Formula Shortage and an Instagram page by the same name have served as a resource for parents who are concerned about finding formula.
“The success that it’s had has inspired me to keep going, not just with this but with other things,” Young said. “It’s given me the confidence to try to just find problems out in the world and try to find solutions. I might be one person, but it feels like there’s a lot of people out there that are supportive if there’s good causes out there.”