This year, instead of having an office Kris Kringle, we decided to pool our funds and give a donation to the wonderful volunteers over at St Kilda Mums. Trish Chalk and Sue Burton were thrilled to put together a collection of essential items for new mums, like nappies and baby wipes, which they hand-delivered to the charity’s headquarters in St Kilda.
St Kilda Mums was born from a small seed of community goodwill back in 2009. The organisation was founded by five mums who realised that a lot of donations were piling up at the St Kilda Maternal and Child Health Centre on Chapel Street, and that they could do something to help new mums in need out. Jessica Macpherson was one of these mums and she kindly volunteered to help sort and repackage the donations ready to go to their new homes. Most of the donated goods were second-hand, so some things needed to be washed and evaluated to see if they were in a suitable condition to be re-homed. Jessica is now the CEO of St Kilda Mums.
Jessica and the mums she was working with understood how important it is to be respectful of the dignity of recipients of the donated items, as no one likes feeling like a charity case. They also wanted to make sure that the goods that were being re-homed were in good condition and would be useful. This has remained a key area of focus for St Kilda Mums to this day, as they will only rehome goods that they themselves would use for their own children.
In the early days, Sarah Pitney was distributing the items to families in need in the local area, but it wasn’t long until social workers and local welfare agencies started noticing their work, and demand started to grow. By 2010, the founding mums could no longer store the growing number of donations in their own homes, so they asked for help in the local newspaper. One generous family in Elwood opened their double garage to the group for three years. By 2013, St Kilda Mums had raised enough money to move into their warehouse on Vale Street in St Kilda.
Dependant on the generosity of volunteers, St Kilda Mums has become a successful, charitable organisation – but the work doesn’t end there! The group are always looking for volunteers to help out, as well as donations to assist the new mums they work with.
If you would like to help make a new mum’s life much easier when times are tough, you can make a donation to St Kilda Mums here.