Baby Give Back is a Gold Coast charity which recycles much needed baby items for families in need. Gold Coast lawyer and mum of two Carley Fradgley was inspired by the work of St Kilda Mums in Melbourne, and with the help of four close friends, decided to set up a similar organisation on the Gold Coast.
“We feel privileged to be able to give our children everything that they want and need,” Carly explains.
“We wanted to give back to our community and help those who are not as fortunate.”
The Gold Coast is an affluent city, full of beautiful homes and exciting opportunities, but like everything, it has a flip side. A NATSEM study on Australian poverty conducted in 2013 indicates that at that time there were actually over 64,000 people on the Gold Coast living in conditions considered to be poverty, and 30 percent of households under rental stress. This equates to one in six Gold Coast children aged under 14 years experiencing poverty, or 14,000 children, a shocking statistic.
“The need on the Gold Coast is far greater than we even imagined when starting Baby Give Back,” says Carly.
“Sadly there are many families in need in our community for reasons ranging from domestic violence, poverty and financial hardships, sickness and disability, unplanned and underage pregnancy.
“Also we have migrant, refugee and asylum seekers in our community needing a helping hand to get their new lives started; those struggling with, or affected by life-controlling addictions; many kids living in foster and emergency care; and those affected by mental health issues. For some it is a long-term issue, while for others the stress may be the result of a recent and unexpected event.”
Natural disaster is also a cause of disadvantage to which the group responds. Baby Give Back were able to provide assistance to the Red Cross following the recent floods resulting from Cyclone Debbie.
“We filled the van they sent us with clothing, linen, toys and books for families who had lost most of their possessions,” Carly says.
“With one days’ notice we provided 23 small toddler clothing bags, nearly 700 nappies, 4 porta cots, 150 toys, 200 books, and a number of other objects that together totalled nearly 1,800 items; which were distributed from the Beaudesert crisis centre.”
Baby Give Back provides donations through social agencies and social workers, and is heavily involved with Pregnancy Support Agency Gold Coast Inc. In six months they have assisted five different social agencies with thousands of items of clothing, nappies, wipes and miscellaneous items. With just a small number of volunteers handling everything themselves, the space required becomes an issue.
“We are desperately in need of a warehouse space to expand our operations and make a serious impact in our community,” explains Carly.
“We receive and handle a large volume of donations and the lack of storage space and working space for volunteers is limiting the number of families we can help and how quickly we can get donations out to where they are needed.”
The team hopes to become a professionally run charity, in order to be able to expand their reach.
“We aspire for Baby Give Back to be well-respected within the region’s social services agencies and networks and to be a charity of choice for volunteering, donating and support by individuals, companies and community organisations,” says Carly.
“We believe that every baby deserves an equal start.”
Baby Give Back directors are Julie-Ann McBridge, Kylie Gregson, Ainsley McLaren, Carly Fradgley and Natasha Borbidge. They are trying to raise around $40,000 to enable them to secure and fit out a warehouse. Baby Give Back is a deductible gift recipient so all donations over $2 are tax deductible.
They are also constantly in need of the larger items such as cots, car seats and prams. If any readers have these items to donate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be made via their website babygiveback.org or Facebook page. Queries can be directed to email@example.com
Image left to Right: Directors Julie-Anne McBride, Kylie Gregson, Ainsley McLaren, Carly Fradgley and Natasha Borbidge.