Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Giving Tuesday was born and incubated at the 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York City. Giving Tuesday is now an independent nonprofit and a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity
This movement has inspired countless businesses to factor giving back as a major part of their brand. Here at Modern Mama, we would love to highlight this generosity by shining the spotlight on these exceptional companies. On the first Tuesday of every month, we will post a “Giving Tuesday” blog featuring a Canadian company that has made it their mission to give back. If you are a company that would like to be featured, or would like to nominate one, please contact me at Lesley@modernmama.com.
This month we are featuring Basically Babies, based out of Edmonton, and recently expanded to Calgary as well. Founded originally by 6 new moms who knew that babies need ALOT of stuff, and not all mom’s can afford it, this non-profit program provides a layette with clothing to outfit babies in need for the WHOLE FIRST YEAR!
The Original Idea
The initial idea for Basically Babies originated in January of 1994 with a group of 6 young moms, all friends, each with a new baby at the time, together recognizing a number of things:
- Raising a baby requires a large amount of baby gear
- We all have way too much baby gear
- There’s many young families that don’t have any baby gear
- We should find a way to give some of this baby gear to others in our community.
“Our role is to advance and protect the welfare of infants born into families in extreme need through the provision of a beautiful gift of a gender-specific, cost-effective, baby wardrobe containing a one year supply of baby clothing and accessories. Our desire is to communicate value, dignity and hope to the recipient families while providing opportunities for committed volunteers to serve our fellow community members.”
The Layette Program
Our charitable Layette Program addresses the one-time need of quality outfitting for infants. This particular need comes at a time of great stress, both financial and emotional, in the lives of people already struggling to make ends meet. The arrival of a newborn, often a source of joy to those in a more stable position, is sometimes seen as just one more set of demands to be met by parents who already have difficulty meeting their own needs.
The baskets we provide to families-in-need reach people at a very deep level. The parents who receive them may be working through addiction issues, struggling to get off a life on the streets, escaping abusive situations, trying to cope as refugees and immigrants to Canada, or may still be children themselves. Whatever the circumstance, they are in a position where they are currently unable to provide for their newborn. In these situations, they often do not feel as though their own lives are worth very much.
Receiving a layette from Basically Babies at a time of great stress and need communicates that the community of Edmonton cares about this family, and that each family member has a great deal of worth and value. The high quality of the basket contents, and the care and attention that are so obvious in the layette preparation demonstrate the respect and dignity that are so necessary for these families to feel hopeful about their futures.
Each of our layettes is carefully and meticulously created to supply a baby for his or her entire first year of life. Each of the 110 items that are included are carefully chosen, checked numerous times for quality, sized to fit the season the baby was born in and beautifully matched to create both a very beautiful and practical gift. These items are all scrupulously laundered, ironed and assembled into a basket in 7 layers …each one wrapped into a receiving blanket creating a gorgeous series of gift-opening opportunities for the needy recipient family.
- Layer 1: Toys, books, shoes, bath supplies
- Layer 2: Snowsuit, sweaters, jackets, toques, hats and mittens
- Layer 3: Undershirts, socks, tights, bibs and slippers
- Layer 4: Sleepers
- Layer 5: Summer & Winter Outfits
- Layer 6: Summer & Winter Outfits
- Layer 7: Key outfits, toys and accessories
How to Help
All financial donations from corporations or individuals will be utilized for the Layette Program unless otherwise specified by the donor. Once all needs have been met in the fiscal year for the Layette Program, the Board of Directors may allocate donations to alternative Basically Babies programs as needed. Tax receipts will be issued for all cash donations over $20 provided we have current contact information.
All donated items will be used in the provision of the Layettes if suitable. Anything that we cannot use, but is still usable, will either be donated to another charity or used in other fundraising activities with all funds allocated directly to the Layette Program.”
All volunteers start by training and performing inventory related tasks and then move on to be trained on the other areas of production. They also perform light cleaning duties as needed at the end of their shift.
Certain key items that we are always in need of include:
- Baby Shoes (Sizes 0-6)
- Snowsuits (Sizes 0-24 months)
- Socks ( Sizes 0-24 months)
- Receiving Blankets
- Tights ( Sizes 0-24 months)
- Sleepers (0-24 months)