York Group Baby Shower

Baby Showers for Baby Bundles!

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and our wonderful Moorelands’ community has been coming together to support Toronto mother’s and newborns in need through Moorelands Baby Bundles.  On Monday, May 7th, the Telco Community Volunteers Toronto Retirees Club showered us with baby gifts and supplies for new moms-in-need. On Thursday, May 10th, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the lovely ladies of the York Group & Happy Hands Knitting Group’s 16th Annual Baby Shower at St. James’ Cathedral!

We are so very grateful to everyone who attended and supported these events. The care and love you all put into knitting booties, sweaters and blankets; shopping for important baby necessities; and offering up your gifts is so generous and inspiring! THANK YOU!

If anyone would like to make a monetary donation in support of Baby Bundles or make a gift in your mom’s honour for mother’s day, please click the button below!

TCV Toronto Retirees Club

York Group Baby Shower

Jane Rowan’s story

IMG_7820“You just have to do something, make an impact; I always wanted to leave a mark!”

 

 

At St. James Cathedral, The York Group’s Baby Shower for Moorelands Baby Bundles program, we had the good fortune to run into Jane Rowan. Jane is not only the Secretary of the York Group, with a long history of supporting Moorelands through their annual Baby Shower, but she also knows the benefits of Moorelands Camp program first hand.

BabyAs a single mother in the 1970s, Jane sent her children, Daniel and Darryl, to Moorelands Camp.  It was a difficult time for her, she explains: “I’d split from my husband and my parents disapproved – back then there was a lot of stigma attached to being a single parent.”  For Jane, it was a relief to find out about Moorelands and the opportunities it would provide for her young boys, “I didn’t have a lot of money at the time, but I didn’t want to deprive my kids of anything.”

How did she feel sending her two young children away from home for two weeks for the first time? “I was mostly relieved!” Jane smiles, “I was working full time and it gave me a much-needed break.  I knew they would be looked after and I didn’t have to worry.”

The boys had so much fun they went back two years in a row, accompanied by her sister’s children, Karen and Jason.  The cousins all have fond memories of camp. “They remember the boats going over to the Island very well, it left quite the impact on them.”

It’s clear that Jane is very proud of her boys and what they have achieved since their days at Moorelands. Daniel works at the University of Toronto as a Stationery Engineer and Darryl is an Accounting Manager at CBC. She’s “amazed” by their success and feels so blessed for the opportunities they have been given.

As for Jane herself, she too has achieved so much since those early days of being a single parent. She went back to school to study Industrial Accountancy and after graduation worked as an Accountant. Her career took her to Saudi Arabia as an Assistant Financial Controller and when she returned she became a Non-Profit/Co-operative Property Manager and founder of a childcare co-operative.

IMG_7887A volunteer at her church and in her co-op, as well as a great supporter of Moorelands Baby Bundles, Jane is filled with enthusiasm as she discusses the plans already underway for the York Group’s Baby Shower 2016. She explains, “We already have five bags of baby supplies ready for next year!”

It’s clear Jane is dedicated to Moorelands and the work we do.  As she considers the impact she has made over her years working in the non-profit sector and volunteering, she remarks how important it is to engage the next generation in volunteerism and charity work. “You just have to do something,” she explains, “make an impact, I always wanted to leave a mark!”

IMG_7827Thank you, Jane. By choosing Moorelands and supporting our Baby Bundles program, you’ve made a significant impact in the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

This Christmas, like Jane, why not choose to share your time in support of our Baby Bundles program.

Help give babies born into poverty, the best start in life. Find out more or call Cheryle at 416-466-9987 x 300.

Please keep your Century Club stories coming! Contact Helen: hbanham@moorelands.ca or 416-466-9987 ext. 312

Martha Eisenhoffer

Martha Eisenhoffer

Century Club Member – Martha Eisenhoffer

Martha Einsenhoffer (c) with Moorelands' Staff Maureen Lewis (l) and Cheryle Pollock (r)

“I can’t help but love Moorelands Baby Bundles….  This is a great way to help that has enormous value when it is done and delivered.”

Martha Eisenhoffer loves Moorelands Baby Bundles.

For many years, as part of the Telco Community Volunteers Toronto Retirees Club, she has been carefully sewing flannels, burping pads and receiving blankets for Toronto babies born into poverty. For Martha and her colleagues it is clearly a labour of love.

Martha first came to Canada 59 years ago from Hungary. She worked for Bell Canada as an Accounting Clerk for 32 years before retiring in 1984. Since then she has been heavily involved with their retiree volunteer program. From quilting blankets for children in Malawi, to sewing heart pillows for patients at Toronto General Hospital, helping others has been a significant part of her life.

Why Baby Bundles? “I understand the need. I was a young mother once… a long time ago…” she chuckles, “There’s so much you don’t know and it can be a very precarious time, especially for someone on a low income.”

 

“To receive a Moorelands’ Baby Bundle – and along with it the knowledge and the help and support – is an awesome thing.”

Martha goes on to describe what has kept the Bell Retirees’ support for Baby Bundles “going strong” all these years.  “For new moms in poverty,” she explains, “providing for their babies will be hard.” She imagines that most of the items within reach of their budget will be second hand or hand-me-down. “That’s if they have cash to buy the items at all.”

For Martha, the joy of the Baby Bundles program is to be able to provide something “new and beautiful” for these families in need. “Moorelands Baby Bundles is about giving a gift to welcome a child.”

Her passion for the program, and the work that Moorelands undertakes in general, is obvious from Martha’s warmth and enthusiasm as she describes her involvement.

You want to support Moorelands and what they do but you aren’t always in a position to give money. This is a great way to help that has enormous value when it is done and delivered.”

Request a baby bundle

Martha is keen to point out that what she and the other members of the Bell Retirees ‘Sewing Group’ do is “just a part” of the program as a whole.

“Moorelands acts as connector to identify the need and provide service, but it’s very satisfying to be a part of the process. Plus I get to buy some beautiful materials!”

Martha understands the large commitment involved in volunteering and acknowledges that “lots of people express a desire to volunteer but you need to know yourself and what you can afford to offer.”

Well, Martha, Moorelands also understands the fantastic amount of work that you and your colleagues put in. We honour you and thank you for your support!

Please keep your Century Club stories coming!

Contact Helen: hbanham@moorelands.ca or 416-466-9987 ext. 312

Baby Bundles make a difference

An Inside Look at How Baby Bundles Make a Difference

“When we give the Baby Bundles, it’s being given to [mothers] that really don’t have the means to have nice things for their baby.” Lois Nuk, Supervisor at Macaulay Child Development Centre

Baby Bundles make a difference

150 to 200. That’s how many new moms, on average, receive Moorelands Baby Bundles per year.

Baby Bundles contain basic new items needed in the care of newborns and help mothers in need give their baby a healthy start. This volunteer-based program has had a truly incredible impact on many new moms – but just how much of an impact?

Baby Bundles Make a Difference

We spoke to some of our agency partners who shared with us the amazing difference a Moorelands Baby Bundle makes. It’s not only the gift, it’s the thought that others care about their child and their needs that make such an impact.

You may be wondering, how exactly do our agency partners use the Baby Bundle program?

Baby Bundles make a difference
Baby Bundles make a difference

Connecting with Moms in Need

As Faith Hatchett, Health Promotion Nurse at Jessie Centre, explains:

“For any prenatal participant, we ask them if they’re in need of extra baby supplies”. Once they have a list of mothers in need, they “connect with Moorelands and send in a request depending on how many numbers, and hand [the Baby Bundles] out to the participants”.

The great part about this is that it gives Jessie Centre a great reason to connect with new moms needing community support and provides a bonding experience for sharing knowledge with the new mother.

Brand New Items Packed with Love

We then asked our agency partners what makes Baby Bundles so rewarding for the mother in need. They shared with us their warm thoughts:

Faith explains that, “oftentimes [people] donate gently used or really poorly used clothes. With Moorelands, it’s all brand new, so they get a sense that it’s the first time being used”. She adds that, “Oftentimes when people donate there’s always something that they’re looking to gain. [With Moorelands] there are no strings attached. That’s the biggest thing”.

Baby Bundles Make a Difference
Baby Bundles make a difference
Baby Bundles make a difference

Helping those in Shelters as well as Newcomers

Jill Cunningham, Site Manager at Red Door Family Shelter, shared with us her opinion as well on why Baby Bundles make a difference. She explains that pregnancy is, “a special time” but that, “it’s also a time when moms have a lot of anxiety about whether they’re going to be able to provide. [With Baby Bundles], it feels like somebody else is caring as well as alleviates some anxiety about having those nice things”.

Lois Nuk, Supervisor at Macaulay Child Development Centre, shared with us how Baby Bundles help newcomers to Canada. She says that many mothers, “don’t have a network of family resources [in Canada]. They don’t have aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins who are going to have a baby shower or give [the new moms] lovely new things, so when we give the Baby Bundles, it’s being given to [mothers] that really don’t have the means to have nice things for their baby”.

Making a Big Impact

Nicole Howard, Activities Organizer at Robertson House, shared a touching story about a new immigrant mother who came to Canada when she was 9 months pregnant and had her baby the day after she arrived. Nicole explained that the poor mother brought absolutely no baby supplies on the plane, so when she received her very own Moorelands Baby Bundle, it meant the world to her. It’s heart-warming stories like this that show how much of an impact our volunteers have!

It really was wonderful to have the chance to talk to our agency partners and get an inside look at how Moorelands Baby Bundle program makes a positive difference in the life of a mother and her child.

Baby Bundles Make a Difference

Faith sums it up beautifully well when she illustrates that magical moment of giving a mother her Baby Bundle:

It’s just that gratitude that they have when they actually get something. It’s just their genuine smile of appreciation”.

By Natalie Burns-Holland

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Ludmila

Ludmila’s story

Ludmila

Public Health nurse Sandy O’Connor was concerned about Ludmila. She and her husband Petr had moved to Toronto from Eastern Europe the year before and were struggling with poverty, a new language and culture. A first time Mom with a week-old baby, she was isolated and scared. Petr worked two part-time jobs to make ends meet and Ludmila was stuck in their basement apartment with the new baby, few resources and no friends or family for support. Sandy called Moorelands knowing that we would prepare a Baby Bundle for Ludmila.

Baby Bundles assists our partners who work directly with new moms affected by poverty and their newborns. Baby Bundles not only provides basic toiletries, clothing and other items to help keep newborns warm and dry but is also used by public health nurses and other social services agencies to connect with new mothers. This connection promotes infant care education and encourages much needed interaction between mother and baby.