The other day, as I was getting the nursery room ready for my newborn son, I came across some unopened gifts that we received from our loving and generous family and friends. Since he’s our second child and of the same gender, we didn’t need it all. It took me only a second to know what I had to do with the stuff. Instead of re-gifting or exchanging, I decided that I wanted to give it away to a deserving family. To be honest, this idea was inspired by a fellow blogger who recently blogged about the “ding dong diaper ditch”. But also, lately, I realized how lucky and fortunate my husband and I are. It was time to pay it forward, and I finally figured out a good way to do it!
Of course, I wanted to make sure the stuff went to the right family… a deserving family that truly needs it. So I reached out to the amazing mothers on the Pink & Blue (Toronto) Facebook page to ask if anyone knew of a family in need. What came next completely humbled me. Unfortunately, the messages just came rolling in. Almost everyone knew a family or two in need and some were brave enough to ask help for themselves! I wish I could have helped them all, but I didn’t have enough. I finally decided which family would receive my stuff but I also decided to find other things that would be in better hands with some of the other families.
In case you’re wondering, the family that I gave my stuff to has an infant child that is very sick and spends most of his days in the hospital. The mother had to quit work in order to be by her child’s side and is also expecting her second child this summer.
I was also able to help out a young soon-to-be first time mother who was not receiving much, if any, financial support from the baby’s father. I had an extra infant car-seat that I was happy to give her along with a play mat.
Lastly, I provided newborn clothes, a breast-pump, a diaper bug and a nursing pillow to a nurse that pays it forward on a daily basis. Not just through her job, but she also volunteers as a lactation consultant with teen moms; some are single, some were abundant by their family; none have money. She will distribute my stuff amongst those teens.
Unfortunately, these people are only a fraction of the families that are in need of support. I was told of stories where one family lost everything they owned in a house fire, another is an immigrant family with a newborn but they don’t have any support system, let alone financial means to support a family of three, and another family that just had triplets at 27 weeks, and one of them is extremely ill.
This is where you can help out. Whether you have something new or gently used, there are tons of people out there who can use something that you no longer need. I understand the need to keep children’s items, but it means so much more to a family in need than it would sitting in your basement collecting dust. If you live in Toronto / GTA and have something that you can pass on please get in touch with me. There are so many families that would appreciate anything that you have to give them.
Alternatively, there are several shelters and organizations in Toronto that can also use baby / child items. Here are just a few of them: