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There are shockingly few services in Toronto that provide free or low cost baby supplies to parents in need. Toronto mother of three Gwen Broda is trying to change that.

Just after her third child was born, she launched The New Mom Project, which aims to provide moms in need with crucial baby supplies they might not otherwise be able to afford. Broda started the project after reading last summer about the Finnish baby boxes, which are given to all new parents by the Finnish government and provide almost everything a baby needs — including a space to sleep.

But Broda’s friends, one a social worker and the other a midwife, taught her about a level of poverty she didn’t know existed in our city. These are the women Broda was thinking about as she started the project.

Gwen Broda of The New Mom Project

GWEN BRODA OF THE NEW MOM PROJECT

“Every day we clean up the toys and think, ‘Why do we have so many toys? Why do we have so many clothes for these kids — and how did we get all this stuff? And then I hear a story from my friends about people who can’t afford a car seat to take their baby home home from the hospital. People come home to the apartment they got housed in, and all they have is a mattress. Not even a sheet.”

Got some baby stuff to give?

Broda will come to your door to pick up donated items. She has connections with a midwifery practice and is looking to connect with more social workers who can refer their clients to this project.

Finnish baby box

SCOTTISH ‘BAIRN’S BOX’ PHOTO: NATIONAL COLLECTIVE

Her ideal baby box would include:

      • Range of clothes size 0-12 months, including onesies and sleepers
      • Baby blankets
      • Wipes and newborn-size diapers
      • Baby carrier
      • Snow suit
      • Baby book
      • A few toys
      • Information on parenting

The long term goal of The New Mom Project is to lobby the federal government so that every new parent in Canada receives a baby box.

Sounds like something you want to help with? Broda is also looking for volunteers. At the moment, The New Mom Project  is particularly looking for someone with experience seeking corporate donations, something Broda says they need in order to supply diapers and wipes.

But any and all help is needed. You can check out their Facebook page here and the blog here.

So, kudos to Gwen Broda — you’re an awesome woman. We all read about the Finnish baby boxes and thought ‘we need this here’  — but here’s someone actually doing something about it.

 

 The New Mom Project  

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