By Patti McNaney, Senior Social Planner
On October 19, 2014, the Baby Depot celebrated its one year birthday of providing valuable support to families with young children in the Riverdale neighbourhood. The volunteer-run program collects and distributes basic needs items for children in partnership with the Community Action Program for Children (CAPC).
Founder Magdalene John was inspired to begin the Baby Depot through her knowledge of the long-running babyshowers program. When she learned that babyshowers had suspended their operations, she recognized that a valuable service for children had been lost. She gathered together a group of dedicated supporters and contacted CAPC to act as referral source to families. Says Magdalene, “We specifically decided to commit to helping families in need in east Hamilton because that’s where most of us live and we are strong proponents of helping our neighbours in times of need”.
The Baby Depot aims to provide each referred child with a hamper filled with a year’s worth of clothes. In addition, they strive to fill other identified needs such as diapers, strollers, cribs, formula and beds. Often the families referred by CAPC Systems Support Worker, Ghanwa Afach, have newly arrived in Canada and Baby Depot will strive to provide the entire family with essentials such as winter coats and boots. During the past year, the Baby Depot provided support to over 60 children in Riverdale.
According to Magdalene, “We do it because we know that every child deserves the best. Rough times come and go in every family but a child should not be deprived of the essentials like clean clothes, a pair of shoes or a coat and if that’s something we can help with, we will try”.
Image courtesy of Glanbrook Gazette