Many families on the Gold Coast are struggling to provide the essentials for their young children, prompting five young mums to create non-profit organisation, Baby Give Back, where donated clothes and other items are given to those who need them most.
Privilege leads to inspiration
When Julie McBride, one of the five mums behind the charity Baby Give Back, learned that one in six children on Queensland’s Gold Coast are living in poverty, they realised families were struggling to afford clothes, cots, nappies and other basic essentials.
“We’re all mums with young children and we were feeling really privileged and lucky that we’re able to buy our kids everything they need,” she says. “We all have this wonderful baby gear that we pass on to our friends, but our friends can buy their own items so we thought it would be good to come together and be able to give these to families who can’t instead.”
A similar business model to Melbourne organisation, St Kilda Mums, (who have actually provided advice and tips to Baby Gives Back for setting up their processes and systems), the Gold Coast based charity collects donations of new and used baby items which are then distributed to local families in need via social services agencies and hospitals. A recent partnership with the Red Cross also meant they could provide a huge amount of items and essentials packs to families affected by the Lismore floods.
Demand takes over
The idea for Baby Give Back was initially conceived several years ago by founder Carly Fradgley, and became an official registered charity earlier this year. The overwhelming community support for the organisation has skyrocketed its growth and the mums (of nine children), who are currently working out of their garages, have now set up a crowdfunding site to raise $30,000 this winter to rent a warehouse that will allow them to expand their operations to help more families in their community.
“We need more space, the Gold Coast community has been amazing with donations and our garages and storage units are overflowing so we need to be able to process those donations and get them out to more families,” says McBride. “To get this warehouse will also mean we can be a bit of a community hub. Mums and grannies can get together and sort donations, do knitting, and dads and grandads can do safety checks on cots and car seats… we want it to be a community charity and social meeting point as well, where anyone can go and support Baby Give Back.”
How people can help
In addition to donating funds to their warehouse fundraising initiative, other ways that people in the local area can help Baby Give Back are by:
- Donating new and used baby goods (for ages 0-2) – They accept items such as cots, bottles, clothes, toys, books, prams, bassinets, car seats and more. Even a small gesture such as buying an extra packet of wipes when you’re at the supermarket to then donate can really go a long way.
- Creating awareness for the charity and what they do – Talk to other mums and follow Baby Give Back on Facebook and Instagram.
- Volunteering time to help out – Jobs include sorting and packing donations, knitting or sewing toys and clothes, conducting safety checks on items such as cots and car seats, and washing clothes so they’re ready for redistribution.
According to McBride, they’ve had people in other states and areas inquire about their charity so in the future they might try and have other Baby Give Backs in other parts of the country.
“At the moment we’re still just trying to establish ourselves in the Gold Coast community, but definitely long term we’d like to branch out,” she says. “And in the meantime if you’re out of the area then you can find an organisation that’s similar to help families that are struggling… because helping more babies is the ultimate goal.”
What a great initiative! We hope Baby Give Back reach their fundraising goal soon. To donate funds head here – all donations over $2 are tax deductible.