FSM loves ... Little Sprouts

Launched in Auckland in December 2014, Little Sprouts is a charitable organisation that provides new baby packs to needy families. We spoke to Libby Priscott from Little Sprouts about the work they do.

“Little Sprouts started in Wellington in 2009, and Auckland was the second branch. There's been a Little Sprouts in Christchurch since 2015.

It can be hard, having a new baby, especially if you’re dealing with that on top of lots of other issues. We put together a box of all the items we think baby will need as a welcome into the world, and a helping hand for the family.

The box usually contains items like baby clothes from zero to 12 months, toiletries like body lotion and also essential household items you might need with a newborn, like Earthwise laundry liquid. We include burp cloths, breast pads, nappies, sipper cups – literally everything you need. These items are donated to us by people and businesses and are packed at our centre in Morningside.

Because our specialism is putting together the boxes, not identifying who has the greatest need, we work with organisations like Family Start Manukau who identify and recommend the families who might benefit the most from a pack.

If there are siblings, then we will send them a little gift too, such as some books and toys, and we always include something nice for mum!

Many of our items are hand-sewn or knitted by our dedicated team of volunteers. Play mats, woollen cardigans, even all the reusable wipes and cloths, they’re all made from donated material by our team. Many of those volunteers are retired and lots are mums at home with time on their hands and in need of a creative (and charitable) outlet. Some of our volunteers have mental health issues. In that way, we aren’t just helping the community, the community is helping us – helping itself – it’s a nice circle of support.

Our families love our boxes and for many of them, it's not just helpful it is invaluable. We had one family who were living in a garage, and we gave them a hand sewn playmat for the floor, so baby had somewhere nice and clean, and safe, for tummy time. If a family needs other items, like a cot or a buggy, we will put a call out on our facebook page and the universe usually answers!

We’re always looking for new volunteers to help with everything from packing and inventory to the more creative side. There are always more families needing assistance.”

Visit www.littlesproutsnz.org for more info