by Sasha 'Tis the season for giving. And while we're busy making our lists and checking them twice, our thoughts often extend beyond friends and family to the wider community.
Giving feels good. And if you can also clean out the closets, re-purpose outgrown kid stuff, or indulge your crafty side at the same time, then so much the better. And with that in mind, here are some ideas for moms looking to help other moms this holiday season.
The Diaper Bag Project
It’s one of those brilliantly simple, gee-I-wish-I’d-thought-of-that ideas: collect gently used diaper bags, and the stuff that goes in ‘em, then deliver the stocked bags to women’s shelters, teen mom centres, or anywhere else you might find new moms in need.
The Diaper Bag Project is looking for gently used diaper bags, receiving blankets, newborn size sleepers, empty travel wipes cases, and empty travel size hand sanitizer bottles. They also need new travel size vaseline/diaper creams and newborn/size 1 disposable diapers. Partial bags of diapers are OK, so it's a great use for the leftovers when your little one moves up a size.
For more information contact Erin at diaperbagproject[at]gmail[dot]com.
The Food Bank
The Food Bank - it’s not just about the food. The food bank also accepts baby care items, such as diapers and wipes. Something we like to do at the office around Christmas time is pass the hat and then a bunch of us go on a shopping spree in the baby aisle. It doubles as a team building exercise: the folks with older children reminisce, and we tease the young single guys who have no idea what babies need. Two Ottawa Moms have also started a Diaper Drive for the Ottawa Food Bank. See their Facebook page for more information.
The Snowsuit Fund
If you’ve dusted off last year’s snowsuit and can see 3 inches of ankle between boot and suit, then consider donating it to the Snowsuit Fund. Gently used winter outerwear can be dropped off at any local Canadian Tire or Brown’s Cleaners, or at the Snowsuit Fund depot (225 Donald Street, Unit 134).
For those with a crafty side, Yarn Forward accepts new, hand-knit or crocheted hats, mitts and scarves for the Snowsuit Fund. They also keep a stash of customer-donated yarn that you can use for this purpose. Similarly, Wool Tyme keeps a yarn stash and collects blankets for Project Linus.
Ottawa area hospitals also accept knitted and crocheted newborn hats, as well as blankets and sleepers. Details vary between hospitals - call the volunteer office at your local hospital for more info.
St. Mary's Home provides a wide range of support for young moms, from prenatal education and health care to ongoing support for mom, dad, and baby. Usually, they accept donations of used baby and maternity clothing (now, if I could just decide whether I'm done with those oh-so-sexy panel jeans). Currently, however, their donation room is undergoing renovations, so they are directing donations down the street to Chez Mère Bruyère, where they will also be available to the St. Mary's moms.
So there are just a few ideas, what are yours?
Sasha is mom to 2-year-old Miss Bea, and 4 month old Baby Em. Her ramblings can also be found on her blog, The Rambling Stroller.