This month’s topic of ‘Living Green’ has come at just the right time for me to share some awesome things I have come across in the last month that enable you to donate or receive items you may need for your baby by contacting these wonderful organisations.
How I came to be enlightened about these groups and organisations is that my sister had a baby in July at 32 weeks gestation. Nephew number 2 weighed in at 3lbs 4oz (1.49 kilograms just does not translate to a baby for me), but despite being small, he is healthy and perfectly formed. He spent one week in NICU at Auckland Hospital and 4 weeks in SCBU on the North Shore. The reason I share this with you is because this experience has led me to find some really brilliant things that are available for people with premature babies, newborns and beyond.
Nephew number 2 had a little roommate and his family (we’ll call them family X) had a bed and absolutely nothing else for their baby when they got home. I was called to action. I figured that seeing as I have contacts in the baby world through Everything but the Stork, I would put the word out. So I asked for help for this family. What came back was nothing short of amazing.
Buggies for Good
Firstly, there was Phil & Teds (also Mountain Buggy and Mokopuna); they have a Phil&thropic initiative which is “Buggies for good”. These are old, pre-loved Mountain Buggies or Phil & Teds buggies that are donated back to the company and are repaired, serviced and restored to full working order. I asked on the Friday and at 7am on Monday morning a buggy arrived for family X. This is a wonderful idea and only possible because of those families who kindly donate their used buggies back to the initiative.
Next came Green Baby, they are a shop for “buying and selling new and gently used children’s and maternity products”- based in Browns Bay on the North Shore in Auckland (they often post new arrivals on Facebook and it appears you can reserve items this way too). You can donate, or they can sell on your behalf. The items are reasonably priced and vary from brand new to well used, but are all in perfectly good condition. Green Baby generously donated many items to family X and I have also suggested that the family take a little trip there when they need more things.
I discovered Pregnancy Help from someone on Facebook. It was set up in 1976 and “supports the wellbeing of pregnant and recently pregnant women, parents, caregivers and their families/whanau by providing information and practical support with Care, Concern and Confidentiality”. These guys can offer a layette of clothes, bedding and the loan of a crib for 3 months. They have branches from Auckland to Invercargill, and need donations and volunteers on a regular basis.
From the Hospital we heard of Parent Port, which is also Auckland-based and has been running since 1986. I would suggest that it is worth asking around your local area if there is something similar to support you if you need it. They “offer in home support where there is a need for accessible, immediate, short term practical service to assist the mothers of pre-school children when they are temporarily ill, emotionally stressed, in a crisis situation or for other reasons needing help to care for their children”. They have been visiting my sister twice a week happily folding laundry and hoovering the floor, which makes two less things to do those days.
Then, there is a lady, Jo, who knows everything, and from her I heard of Freecycle. I should have thought about this because I had an account in London years ago, but it’s here in New Zealand! Freecycle is a free version of Trademe. It is obviously smaller, but there are wanted and offered sections. The other day someone wanted a hairdryer and someone was offering one – it was meant to be! Currently there is an unemployed lady on there from Waitakere who is five months pregnant and has nothing for her baby. She is asking for any baby items that are free to good home. I am hoping that someone reading this now will feel compelled to take two minutes to sign up to freecycle and be able to offer her some things that will help ease the stress of having absolutely nothing.
Something else that is around New Zealand and gaining strength is Bellyful. Bellyful “provides meals for families with newborn babies, and families who are in crisis”. Again, I would encourage you to ask around in your local area. My sister lives in Torbay and the local Baptist Church provides three frozen meals to families when they have a new baby. They have informed the Plunket lady about this and she passes on the information. Genius!
The last, but not by any means least organisation that I found out about is Early Buds. Their byline is “to share love, hope, and encouragement in a Christian context to parents with premature babies”. They provide lovely little free packs with an assortment of samples and products to parents of premature babies. My sister particularly loved the chocolate bar – it made her day!
So you see, if you are having or have a baby there are some wonderful organisations that can help you to find your feet. They can offer support and get you the things that you need. The days of the extended family living close by may be gone, but it seems like the communities are right there to lend a hand if you are willing to let them. It also seems like church groups are also feeling compelled to make a difference. My sister had her meals dropped off today by a lovely lady and I wondered if there might be some kind of conversation around church, God, or religion or such like, but no, the lady was just totally in awe of how tiny nephew number 2 is. He is kind of dinky.
Oh, just one more thing – if you are looking for cheap nappy options, look no further than your nearest local Nappies for less, or online with super quick delivery Baby Online, both companies do normal nappies and environmentally friendly nappies.
By the way, if you know of brilliant things like this in your area, please post them below so that others can benefit.