This wonderful initiative – run by community-minded volunteers – with a mission to gift a Baby Box to all new-borns in the Queenstown Lakes District and where supporting a happy healthy connected community is at the forefront. If you’re interested in participating or contributing read through to the end.
What is a Baby Box?
A Baby Box is a bassinet-sized box with a mattress, sheets and a blanket. It contains gifts such as hand-knitted booties and a hat, a cardigan or singlet and a blanket or handmade quilt from members of our community. There is also a merino sleep sack (baby sleeping bag), stretch and grows, a book, a toy, a muslin wrap, a reusable nappy, as well as memberships to St John and the local Library. Ultimately, a Baby Box is a gift from the community to any new-born, no strings attached. It is not just for the struggling families, but for every new-born in our district. We want the boxes to foster a sense of belonging and support in our community.
Background of the Queenstown Lakes Baby Box Charitable Trust
The Queenstown Lakes Baby Box Charitable Trust was established in 2016 when a group of locals saw the idea at a tackling poverty workshop and thought it would be a great way to connect with new families in the community. Our community is challenging to live in, with high rent and living costs and long work hours. This, coupled with the fact that many of our new families are isolated from traditional family support networks makes it a challenging place to have a new baby in. New families can feel very isolated and we want to provide them with a welcoming gift from the community that comes with no strings or judgment attached.
In late 2018 (after many months of researching and planning) we gave out our first Baby Box. Since then, we have delivered over 400 boxes to new families. We initially limited our scope to the immediate Queenstown district, but now that we have established a functional way to create and deliver the boxes, and with word spreading about our initiative, we are delivering boxes to the wider Queenstown Lakes District (which includes Wanaka and its surrounds).
All 5 of our trustees are volunteers, and they are supported by another 10 core volunteers. We meet at least once a month to plan future activities and assemble boxes. To deliver the boxes, we go to ante natal classes and arrange pick-up times for people wanting boxes. This equates to over 50 hours a month of volunteering. We also have continuous knitting and quilting volunteers / groups who feel a sense of connection supplying all of our homemade gifts for the boxes.
Our aim is to provide resources and services that enable the community to support families in our area. We want to see healthier babies and families that feel supported and part of our community, and we want to see an engaged community that participates in all that living in our district has to offer.
How do we Finance Baby Box?
Generally speaking we budget for a cost of $85,000.00 annually to gift 500 Baby Boxes to our community. To fund this, we seek support by way of grants and community fundraising. We don’t have any overheads or operating costs, as we operate fully on a volunteer basis.
Participation or Contribution Opportunities
There are many ways to support this community, life, health initiative – if you’re looking to get involved – if knitting booties is your thing and you want to connect with others in our community who have a similar passion, if organising is your thing and you’d love to see and help assemble these beautiful gifts or you may want to donate to the cause.
Contact our local concierge team today to learn more about how you can participate or contribute (add link to enquiry form) or connect with Baby Box Queenstown Lakes via Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org