Getting to know One Mother to Another
“A little bit of kindness on a difficult day” – that’s the heart behind the award-winning local charity One Mother to Another, which provides gift bags of love and support to mums and carers who unexpectedly find themselves in hospital with a sick child.
“We know a gift-bag won’t allay the mum or carer’s fears, but we hope it offers a moment of kindness, and reminds them that they are seen, they are valued, and they are cared for” says co-founder Joy Reid.
The charity was born out of personal experience, starting with just 10 gift bags after a particularly difficult experience in hospital. It now provides 170 packages to 4 wards in 3 South Island hospitals every month (Christchurch’s Children’s Acute Assessment Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as well as the Neonatal Units at Southland and Nelson Hospitals).
Each bag contains products which are either of a practical or a luxurious nature as well as a handwritten note of support. “We want each mother and/or carer to be helped but also spoilt in what can be a very vulnerable and distressing time. We want to brighten their day and let them know we care about what they are going through.”
On top of its regular monthly quota, One Mother to Another also provides a small number of male-focussed giftbags each month recognising the brave dads and grandfathers at the helm.
It also responds to one-off needs as they arise. For example, One Mother to Another provided packages of support to 100 St John ambulance first responders following the Christchurch terrorist attacks, and to 300 nursing staff at the hospital in the wake of the tragedy.
“We want to recognise the incredible efforts of our community in keeping us safe and acknowledge the bravery of those who worked through that difficult time”.
It also provides an additional 200 Christmas parcels for the festive period and extra gift bags for Mother’s Day.
“Our heart is to stand alongside our community and offer understanding and acknowledge the difficulty many people face”.
The feedback is really encouraging and is what spurs Joy and the team to keep going.
One mother recently writing “I received one of these lovely gift packs a few weeks back. I was so tired, stressed and upset and when the nurse brough it in to me in the middle of the night once my baby had finally gone to sleep I read the beautiful handwritten note and saw the lovely goodies and just cried knowing that people understood what I was feeling. It’s simply a wonderful touching gesture. Thank you!”
The charity is run by volunteers and relies fully on donations from generous local businesses and community grants.
For more information, you can check out their website at www.onemothertoanother.org.nz