An Edmonton charity is making sure disadvantaged mothers feel the love of our community. Basically Babies provides a full first year wardrobe of size appropriate and colour coordinated items to new moms in poverty.
“We want the families, even though they’re living in really tough situations, to know their baby is going to be looked after and that the community cares about them,” said Janet Wilson, a Basically Babies volunteer.
Each care package, called a layette, is packed with freshly laundered and pressed baby clothes, blankets, toys and books, then is delivered to moms in a beautifully wrapped package. This usually happens within days of delivering their baby.
“We were told many years ago that if you give someone castoffs, then they’ll feel like a castoff,” said Wilson.
Each gently used donation goes through a rigorous system to ensure the garments are delivered like new.
Case workers from social agencies take care of the requests, and say delivering the gift is often emotional for moms.
“They’re just overwhelmed by the amount in a layette for one thing,” said Wilson. “And they’re overwhelmed that just random complete strangers care enough to take that time to give them something so special that will outfit their baby.”
The racks at the west Edmonton warehouse look full, but hold just a portion of the items needed to pack 800 layettes a year. This year, Wilson says they’ll go through 17,000 sleepers alone.
After operating for a quarter century, Wilson says Basically Babies has fulfilled every eligible request for a layette in Edmonton, ensuring new moms in need have one less thing to worry about.
Basically Babies is holding a Mother’s Day brunch fundraiser on Saturday, May 12. Those interested in donating new or gently used baby clothes can visit their warehouse at 14839 118 Avenue.