The partnership between Interchange Outer East and the St Kilda Mums project is continuing to have positive outcomes for all involved. Not only are needy families being supported but IOE’s adult service participants are learning skills and valuable lessons about how their volunteering contribution is making a difference to others.
Based in St Kilda, the not for profit organisation re-homes new and pre-loved baby goods, books, clothing and nursery equipment to families in need all over Melbourne. Run by volunteers it relies on donations from community members, businesses and organisations. Working together with existing social service agencies and maternal health workers who determine families in need right across Melbourne, St Kilda Mums have been collecting, sorting and redistributing baby and children’s goods since 2009.
The partnership was formed in 2016 and has been a great opportunity for IOE’s Adult Service participants to learn new work skills, develop new relationships and feel directly connected to the people they are helping. Participants have gained enormous satisfaction and increased self-esteem, from the voluntary work they do cleaning, repairing and delivering loads of prams and baby goods ready for distribution to families!
All goods that are redistributed must be in very good condition and adhere to the appropriate Australian Safety Standards. At the St Kilda Mums depot, we’ve developed such a reputation for the high standard and condition of our goods that they are no longer checked but sent out immediately to recipients!
The IOE crew have now gone from just delivering the completed goods to St Kilda to actually being invited to work directly with the organisation at their depot one day a week. This is a big step up and is testimony to the team’s work and volunteering ethic. They are certainly appreciated for their commitment to the project and it has been particularly heart-warming to see the relationships and understanding that have developed between our team and their co-volunteers. An example of this is that one of the young men from IOE is more comfortable doing his work outside, so St. Kilda mums have provided him with an environment which caters specifically to his needs!
IOE is a drop off point for donations of baby goods and equipment, and thanks to the generosity of both the local and IOE communities, there is always a mountain of goods ready for the crew to wash, fold, clean and sort. The quality and amount of goods that people donate is amazing and IOE would like to sincerely thank the many people who donate their no longer needed items so that other families in need may benefit.
IOE is thrilled to be able to support this amazing organisation and hopes to become even more involved in the future.
For more information about the St. Kilda Mums visit their website www.stkildamums.org
Check out the video of the IOE crew talking about St Kilda Mums, reinforcing the message of the current Interchange campaign showing the contribution people with disabilities can make through volunteering.