A year of sky-high inflation has led to an unprecedented number of registrations at Baby Go Round, a Vancouver-based organization that collects donations of gently used baby gear and provides them to new moms in need.
The charity’s marketing community manager Alyssa Gibson said this October through December saw a 50 per cent increase in demand over the previous year.
“We are seeing this huge increase in volume of need from families, something we have never seen before the in the last 10 years that we’ve been operating. And with the supplies we have right now, we are just not going to have enough. So it’s essential to us being able to deliver and support families that we see an increase in donations,” said Gibson.
Baby Go Round accepts donations of used baby clothes and gear like cribs, strollers and carriers as well as cash for diapers and other supplies.
The organization is currently building winter kits for families. “During the winter months, we do focus on providing winter weather protection kits to make sure that parents have everything they need so they can head out of doors. A lot of families who see us don’t have vehicles, so they will be travelling by foot or public transit, so having those items is non-negotiable,” said Gibson.
She’s appealing to parents to drop items off at Baby Go Round’s Kingsway warehouse instead of a thrift store. “Donating them to Baby Go Round means your pre-loved items get the chance to clothe and bring warmth to another baby and provide a little bit of stress relief to a parent who otherwise couldn’t afford them,” said Gibson.
The service was a life saver for Anna Chebotar, who was 28 weeks pregnant when she arrived in Vancouver with her eight-year-old daughter Sofiia in April after fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Chebotar was hospitalized for the final month of her pregnancy, and baby Aaron arrived five weeks early.
“That’s why I couldn’t prepare some clothes, some things for Aaron, and one woman told me about an organization Baby Go Round,” she said.
The Chebotars were among 18 Ukrainian families helped by Baby Go Round in 2022.
“We see refugees, we see families new to Canada who don’t have access to community around them. They don’t have family here to provide these items, so part of what we do is come in support them as that community,” said Gibson.
Baby Go Round provided Chebotar a basinette, a stroller, clothes, books and diapers, items she said she could not have easily bought herself.
“(It’s) very good support for a mommy like me, because we don’t have anyone in Canada,“ she said.
Chebotar’s asking other Metro Vancouver parents to consider donating any baby items they are no longer using.
“If you can help, please help,” she said. “You can help another mommy, and maybe some of the days you are helpful, the kindness returns to you.”