LITTLEMORE

Little Treasures - - INSPIRATION -

Laura Howard For Auck­land mum-of-two Laura Howard, the thun­der­bolt hit at the most un­ex­pected time: while she was at Birth­care hav­ing her first child, Siena, in 2013. Her mid­wife made a com­ment about how some new­borns at South Auck­land’s Mid­dle­more Hos­pi­tal were sent home in baby-sized hos­pi­tal gowns as their fam­i­lies had no clothes for them. “As a mum of a new­born, my heart was touched and I couldn’t for­get that con­ver­sa­tion. In fact, her words re­played in my mind over and over again in those first few months,” she says. “I started to no­tice that friends were won­der­ing what to do with the moun­tain of baby clothes and other gear their lit­tle ones had out­grown, so the idea of a char­ity to help ba­bies in need was con­ceived.” Laura’s not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, Littlemore, now pro­vides clothes and other es­sen­tials for thou­sands of Kiwi ba­bies. Thought­ful par­ents do­nate the baby bits and bobs they no longer need, then Littlemore fa­cil­i­tates the de­liv­ery of them to dis­ad­van­taged fam­i­lies. More than 3500 bags of baby clothes have been gifted through the or­gan­i­sa­tion, which now has more than 40 vol­un­teers. “The won­der­ful feel­ing of be­ing able to help in a small way brings me such joy and ful­fil­ment and this has been true from the outset,” she says. “A ma­ter­nity ward staff mem­ber at Mid­dle­more once

said to me, “I wish you could be a lit­tle birdie on my shoul­der when I hand items to fam­i­lies and see their gen­uine ap­pre­ci­a­tion... it’s as if a great big load has been lifted from their shoul­ders.” The hot de­mand for the im­por­tant or­gan­i­sa­tion means Laura, a for­mer art cu­ra­tor, has quickly mas­tered the art in tran­si­tion­ing from char­ity boss to mum of Siena, now four, and Marco. “My big­gest chal­lenge has been balanc­ing the run­ning and growth of a vol­un­teer-run char­ity with my grow­ing fam­ily,” she says. “But now that I have a team of skilled vol­un­teers on board, I have moved into a role as a trustee to fo­cus on strat­egy, which al­lows me to spend more time with my kids.” Fam­i­lies can do­nate baby items to Littlemore ev­ery Satur­day, 9am-10am, at Stor­age King, 300 Rich­mond Rd, Grey Lynn, Auck­land or send them via post – visit littlemore.co.nz for more in­for­ma­tion.

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