Have you ever wondered how to help a pregnant friend, or a new mum who is overwhelmed by the new challenges she faces? Or have you been in that situation yourself?
Yes, family and friends do help in most cases, as also your local health care team including community workers and Plunket nurses.
However, who is there to step in and bridge the gap in understanding your practical and social needs in looking after yourself and a newborn baby?
Whom can you get in touch? What can you do if you would like to be part of the solution?
The answer is Bare Necessities, a registered local charity giving a boost to New Zealand mums, all over the country!
- How did Paul and Paulie discover Bare Necessities Charity?
For those of you who are new to Paul and Paulie, we are an online baby boutique, based in Auckland, New Zealand. We design and create premium quality, comfy and hypoallergenic baby, toddler, and maternity garments, all made ethically and sustainably from the finest GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) organic cotton in the world. We love giving back to babies and mums in our local community, through charitable organizations like Shining Light Community Trust.
Earlier this year, we were on a quest to specifically identify a charity that supports expectant and new mothers; so, we queried our loyal customers and followers on social media, who suggested a charity called Bare Necessities, with its base in Rosedale, Auckland. A phone call to the lovely Maya Chand, the Founder led to a inspiring meeting and donation of our baby and mums’ garments.
- What is the story of Bare Necessities Charity?
Maya Chand started Bare Necessities with her husband, Atish, after supporting a pregnant friend in 2019 and finding that more work could be done that focused solely on hapū māmā (new mothers). Maya is an Enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and has work experience in government and private practice. She now spends most of her time with her two little girls and runs Bare Necessities as a volunteer.
- Why do they do what they do?
According to New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s figures on maternity deprivation, out of 58,503 women who gave birth in 2018, 16,705 mothers lived in the most deprived quantile. The National Maternity Monitoring Group (2019) identified Māori, Pacific, and Indian pregnant women, pregnant women under the age of 20, and those living in high deprivation, as needing vital and equitable access to lead maternity care services, for positive outcomes.
Maya and her team believe that it is their responsibility as a community to do something about these figures. Mum's wellbeing is just as important as baby's. So, they have made it their priority to work with community organizations to provide expectant and new mothers in need with starter parenting packs, maternity, and nursing clothing, and much more.
- What do they do to boost New Zealand mums’ lives?
- Pre-packaged boxes for new mums:
These are pre-packaged generic boxes that are applicable to most new mothers. They contain vital things such as maternity pads, nursing pads, hydrogel disc pads, nursing cream, and other personal care items.
2. Customized donation boxes:
Bare Necessities has a donations bank for maternity and nursing clothing, intimates, and accessories like electric breast pumps. Customized donation boxes consider custom requests requested either online or requested through social workers.
3. Paid internship programme:
This programme was designed to train and empower mothers who may not have had any formal work experience or education in the past, to return to paid work after having children. Bare Necessities was recognized for this positive initiative by the TSB and were one of the recipients of the TSB's Good Stuff Grant of $20,000 in 2021! They currently have three interns who learn a range of transferrable skills such as office administration, packing and delivery of pregnancy care boxes, job search, and setting up their own small business, like homebased childcare.
- How do they reach New Zealand mums?
The Bare Necessities team works with hospitals, women's refuge centres, emergency housing organizations, social workers, budgeting services, foodbanks, and other professionals, to ensure that their donations, that is, pregnancy care boxes reach New Zealand mothers who need it the most. They are based in Auckland and also have a collection point at Tauranga / Papamoa region but distribute nationwide.
- How can you support?
Here are a few practical steps in supporting Bare Necessities Charity:
- Follow, like and share the charity on social media. Spread the word!
- Refer a new mother who would benefit from a pregnancy box.
- Volunteer in packing or and delivering pregnancy boxes.
- Donate new or good quality preloved maternity and breastfeeding clothes, intimates, and accessories.
In conclusion, Bare Necessities is an amazing boon to specific New Zealand mums who need just a timely hand-up during and after pregnancy!
Come, be part of it!! Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org