Tell us about yourself...
My name is Carly and I am the Community Engagement Manager for Baby Give Back. I have two girls who also love to come and spend time in our warehouse. It teaches them so much about giving back. As a family we love to go camping - Yamba and Fraser Island are a couple of our favourite places. I love reading when I get a chance and enjoy catching up with my friends. I'm lucky to have an amazing network of family and friends around me who are in my village now that I am working full-time.
Tell us a bit more about Baby Give Back…
At Baby Give Back, we collect, sort and safety check donated essential items (everything from clothing and nappies to cots, prams, and car seats) and support families in our community by working with caseworkers and social workers to provide customised orders for each family to suit their needs and circumstances. Our priority is ensuring that all items are safe and in great condition so that families can feel the love and compassion of their community.
Can you describe the steps you took to get to this point?
We've worked hard since the beginning to create a community, not just an organisation. Baby Give Back is a village - for our team, for our volunteers, for the caseworkers, and for the families we support. Community is one of our core values. It is why we do this work, it is how we do it and it is the feeling that we want to pass on to families doing it tough. We want them to know that their community cares and they are worthy of love and support. It's important to us that we are transparent with our wins and our challenges and we pride ourselves on being open and responsive - this takes courage and hard work.
What is your involvement with the loans.com.au Women, Children & Community Program?
The amazing team from loans.com.au have volunteered in our warehouse, doing everything from cleaning car seats to sorting donations and packing orders. They've also done a collection of essential items for us and helped to spread the word about the work we do.
How do volunteers help you achieve your goals?
Our volunteers are the heart of what we do at Baby Give Back. We are powered by both our regular volunteers who help us to process and pack donations and our corporate volunteers like loans.com.au, who spend time out of the office, learning more about what we. We love welcoming workplace teams into our warehouses to share our story with them and get them involved in the work we do. These teams find volunteering with us to be a valuable experience and we are grateful that they believe so passionately in the work we do.
Every item is assessed through our safety checking processes and dignity standards before being provided to support workers working with families in our community. Our volunteers play such an integral role in the whole process, from the moment a donation comes through our door, processing and getting it ready for its new family to packing orders and chatting to caseworkers. We couldn't do what we do without our volunteers!
How big is your network when it comes to distributing your donations?
At Baby Give Back, we are extremely lucky to work with incredible social service agencies, midwives, health practitioners, and other charitable organisations. We work with a network of over 400 caseworkers who support vulnerable families in our community. Together, the support we provide is helping create a world filled with hope, love, and generosity.
What would you say to someone considering volunteering their time or donating items?
If you are in a position to donate, we would love to rehome your gently-used baby and children's items. We channel giving and support from our community to vulnerable families and rely on the generosity of the community to enable us to fulfill orders.
You can drop your donations to our warehouse at 2/97 Jijaws St, Sumner (Mon-Wed 9am-4pm and Thurs 9am-7.30pm) or 10/15 John Duncan Ct, Varsity Lakes (Mon, Wed and Friday 9am-4pm and Tues 9am-7.30pm). We also have monthly Collection Days across Brisbane - check out our socials for more details.
What are your plans for the future?
Our commitment for the future is to build on the foundation we have set to ensure that our growth and our service is sustainable.
We are currently focused on growing resources to meet the steep growth that Baby Give Back has experienced so far in 2022. This will involve securing more warehouse space and growing our team so that we are equipped to meet the rising demand.
We look forward to connecting with more support workers and understanding the needs of our community and the ongoing impacts from the rising cost of living, pandemic and natural disasters.