Baby items and hope

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By RHIANNON McCON­NELL

Al­most ev­ery par­ent in the world wants the best for their chil­dren, but many face sit­u­a­tions were they can’t af­ford to meet even their ba­sic needs.

Whitby mother of three, Jo Alderdice, has de­cided to be an an­swer to that prob­lem.

‘‘I’ve al­ways had this be­lief that no child should go with­out and they should have ev­ery­thing they need,’’ she said.

Her or­gan­i­sa­tion, Lit­tle Sprouts, pro­vides vul­ner­a­ble fam­i­lies with boxes of ev­ery­thing a new mother could pos­si­bly need, from a merino sleep­ing bag, to sheets and cloth­ing.

‘‘It’s things that are go­ing to make a real dif­fer­ence.

‘‘These fam­i­lies are in re­ally dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions. It’s been mak­ing a huge dif­fer­ence to the ba­bies but also the par­ents as well.’’

Many of those who re­ceive the packs are refugees, vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and fam­i­lies with sick or pre­ma­ture ba­bies.

Some of the gear is sec­ond­hand, but Alderdice said they only give away things in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion.

It wasn’t un­til Alderdice started hav­ing chil­dren that she re­alised how many things a baby needed. She be­gan think­ing about how hard it must be for fam­i­lies who were worse off than she and her hus­band.

‘‘It must just be so un­be­liev­ably dif­fi­cult for fam­i­lies in other sit­u­a­tions.’’

That was six years ago, but it took a while to get the idea off the ground and the first packs headed out the door last Oc­to­ber.

Since then Lit­tle Sprouts has taken off and just gave out its 90th pack. About three packs a week head out the door.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion works with four Women’s Refuges, Refugee Ser­vices, House of Grace, The Sal­va­tion Army Porirua, Barnar­dos Lower Hutt, Fam­ily Start and the neo-natal unit at Welling­ton Hos­pi­tal.

‘‘Our goal was not to du­pli­cate other or­gan­i­sa­tions but to sup­port the ones al­ready there,’’ Alderdice said.

She said peo­ple of­ten got caught up want­ing to change the world, but if they fo­cused on some­thing they could do in their area, poaitive changes could be made.

‘‘That’s what we re­ally wanted to do to make a big im­pact and make a dif­fer­ence.’’

Cur­rently Lit­tle Sprouts works in the Greater Welling­ton Re­gion, but Alderdice said there were plans to move into more of New Zealand.

Email gmail. com in­volved.

lit­tle­sprout­snz@ to do­nate or get

Photo: RHIANNON McCON­NELL

Good start: Lit­tle Sprouts founder Jo Alderdice with her son Luke Alderdice-Sole, 1, and the con­tents of a Lit­tle Sprouts pack.

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