When Julie Bouchet-Horwitz opened the New York Milk Bank, the first in the city, she wanted to find ways to get the milk to babies in the NICU.
While reading about an England motorcycle group delivering to milk to their local hospital, she thought the concept would be great for NYC too. So she turned to Google to find a women’s motorcycle club in the area.
“I thought women helping women would be fabulous,” Bouchet-Horwitz told InsideEdition.com.
When Jen Baquial, of the Sirens Women’s Motorcycle Club of New York City, got a message from Julie, she thought it would be a great idea for their group to participate.
“Everyone was on board from the moment I explained it to them,” said Baquial. “It’s phenomenal. It’s just a good fit. We are very service oriented. We always want to focus on helping with women’s health issues and LGBT community. So this is for babies and for mamas."
The Sirens collect frozen milk from the bank’s depots in Manhattan, Brooklyn or the Bronx, where women drop off their extra milk and take it to processing centers before local hospitals.
The 50-member club and some members of the milk bank are now all in a WhatsApp group chat where they announce deliveries that need to be made and whoever is available can volunteer.
Bouchet-Horwitz thought up the idea for the milk bank in the 1990’s when she adopted a daughter from China who did not like formula, but thrived on breast milk. She later learned that babies in the NICU were not using donor milk.
In 2012, however, The American Academy for Pediatrics recommended it for the babies and more hospitals starting using it, but they were getting the breast milk from out-of-state.
Bouchet-Horwitz then began gathering team members for her long-term plan and the bank officially opened this past September.
Bouchet-Horwitz said the bikers are a great help.
“It’s just been a wonderful collaboration. It’s empowered them as group. They wanted to be able to do charitable help and we wanted to work with a group that would really embrace us. It’s been great,” said Bouchet-Horwitz.