Cots, blankets, rompers and prams. Among a safe place to sleep, healthcare and a loving home, these are just some of the essential items babies need to survive.
But for disadvantaged mothers and fathers in crisis, they’re luxuries not many can afford.
When faced with piles of old baby items their children no longer had use for, it was this realisation that prompted five Gold Coast working mums to form Baby Give Back, a not-for-profit charity that provides for families when they can’t for themselves.
“The light bulb moment for me was thinking ‘what if it were me?’,” Baby Give Back’s founder, Carly Fradgley told Mamamia.
“I feel so lucky to be able to give my kids everything they want and need, so the idea of being in a situation where you couldn’t provide basic essentials for your child is horrible. That is the ‘why’ behind what we’re doing.”
Providing thousands of donations of beautiful new and pre-loved baby clothes and items, including nappies, wipes, toys, books, bottles, linen, cots, bassinets and prams, Baby Give Back supports social services agencies and workers in getting families in the Gold Coast and surrounding areas the help they need so every baby can get an equal start in life.
In the wake of Cyclone Debbie in early 2017, Baby Give Back were able to assist affected families who lost most of their possessions with clothing, linen, toys, books and household necessities, tallying a staggering 1,800 items in under 24 hours.
With one in six children living in poverty in Queensland, and more than 30 per cent of households under 'financial stress', the task ahead for Baby Give Back is unfathomable.
Operating out of their family homes, their founders and volunteers work tirelessly to rigorously process donations from the community, ensuring all items comply with current safety standards, are clean and in good condition, and are meticulously sorted and packaged to best service families and their children to a standard any parent would want for their own child.
But these challenges are nothing compared to those faced by countless families living in crisis who're making tough decisions everyday to care for their children the best they can.
LISTEN: Nikki McWatters shares the shame associated with raising a family while living under the poverty line (post continues after audio...)
"Every parent wants the best for their child and it's a major struggle for them not to be able to have clothing for the right season or even just a pram to get around the community," Carly explained.
"All parents desire to care for their children, and if you're in a situation of disadvantage, it's compounded by concerns about what your child might be missing out on."
Due to the overwhelming response from the local communities, Baby Give Back are in need of a bigger space to get the thousands of donations they receive into the hands of those who need them most.
Campaigning to raise $30,000 for a warehouse space to house their operation, having the space to continue their work will exponentially increase the number of families and babies they can service.
"We're so limited by the spaces we have in our homes, we're all working mums with children and our time restrictions mean we're not able to have volunteers in our homes to help us 24/7," Carly explained.
"If we had a warehouse space we'd be able to have volunteers working even when we're not able to, which just means more families can get the help they need."
At the heart of what drives Baby Give Back to continue to do their incredible work is the importance of family, and the firm belief that every parent and baby deserves to be loved and cared for, irrespective of their circumstance.
"We want these families to feel loved and cared for by their community, and know that there are people out there who want to do just that," Carly said.
"The fact we can provide material aid that might mean the difference between a mother being able to keep her baby or not is an incredible benefit of the work we're doing."