I wrote recently about how hard I was finding it to clear out all of our old baby gear. With our third child definitely our last, we have an attic full of clothes that are now too small for my children, toys they no longer play with, and equipment we won’t use again. So many of you who read my blog told me you related when I said that starting to part with it has been making me cry because there are so many memories in all of those old outfits and toys.
However, deep down I know it’s no good sat up in the attic gathering dust. There are certain things I’m keeping because I couldn’t bear to see them go, but slowly we are passing on and selling items we no longer need.
It was quite fitting, then, to be asked to be a blogger ambassador for JoJo Maman Bebe’s From A Mother To Another campaign. Launched in 2015, From A Mother To Another sees UK parents donating good-quality, pre-worn children’s clothes, which will be distributed via food bands to UK families in need and to Syrian refugees living in Lebanon.
From Tuesday February 2nd until Friday March 5th, all 72 JoJo stores across the UK and Ireland (including one here in Cardiff’s St David’s Shopping Centre), will be collecting the unwanted baby and children’s clothes in sizes 0 to 6.
The emergency clothing packs will be distributed by some of the Trussell Trust’s 420 Foodbanks across the UK and by a number of partner charities on the ground in Lebanon.
As well as providing clothing to people in desperate need, the campaign will also help reduce the amount of clothing sent to landfill. Nearly a third of the UK’s clothing ends up in landfill – around 350,000 tonnes a year. By extending the life of clothes by just three months of active use, carbon and water waste could be reduced by up to 5-10% a year.
My children were very sad to hear there were little boys and girls here in the UK and across the world who struggle with even the basics, such as clothing. They were really keen to be able to help and happy to put together some packages of clothes from things they no longer wear.
Little Miss E, my six year old daughter and eldest child, chose to donate this pink and purple floral dress and a pair of tights. She’s worn the dress to a number of parties and family gatherings, and although it’s now too small for her, it’s still in really good condition. The tights have only been worn a couple of times, as she had quite a lot in this size. “Mummy, I’m quite sad to see this dress go because I love it,” she told me, “but I’m happy that another little girl can wear it and feel happy like I did.”
Most of the clothes belonging to Little Man O, my four-year-old middle child, are being handed down to Toddler Boy I, my 22-month-old third child. Being worn by two boisterous boys means a lot of it isn’t good enough quality to be passed on. However, this gorgeous all-in-one dungaree suit and dinosaur top, a gift to Toddler from one of my friends, is in fantastic condition, so we thought it would make a good outfit for another little boy. The colours are so bright and happy.
We’ve packaged them up in clear plastic bags and labelled them with age, gender and season, as requested by JoJo Maman Bebe, and will be heading into town one night after school this week to take our outfits to the Cardiff store.
Laura Tennison, the Newport mum who founded JoJo Maman Bebe has visited the refugee camps in Lebanon. She said, “The situation is dire and the millions of women and children living in makeshift tents are in urgent need of emergency humanitarian aid to help until it is safe to travel home – just a few miles across the border. They left Syria with whatever they could carry. Their children have outgrown their clothes long ago and are often in rags. The gift of a From A Mother To Another pack brings tears of gratitude. Children are dying from the cold, we just had to help.”
I know how supportive Cardiff Mummy Says readers were last year when I posted on my Facebook page that JoJo Maman Bebe were urgently looking for winter shoes for children living in tents on refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley on the Lebanese Syrian border – so I’m hoping you’ll consider backing this campaign too.
If you’d like to take part in this campaign, here’s what you need to do:
- Make up two or more complete outfits from your child’s little worn, nearly new or outgrown clothes in sizes 0-6.
- Launder and check that the clothes make a perfect outfit you would be proud to dress your own child in.
- Place in a clear plastic bag and label with size/sex/season (for example 0-3 months/unisex/summer.
- Take to a JoJo Maman Bebe store between Tuesday 2nd February and Saturday 5th March 2016.
- JoJo will give you a £5 gift voucher as a thank you when two or more outfits are donated. (One voucher per customer. Valid with a £35 minimum spend).
JoJo Maman Bebe can accept: summer clothes, winter clothes, coats/rainwear, scarves/hats/gloves, socks/tights, sleepsuits/pyjamas, fabric sunhats.
JoJo Mamane Bebe cannot accept: underwear, books, toys, accessories, shoes/boots, any items with defects, any items which are stained or dirty.
What will happen next?
- JoJo will double check all donations and where necessary will add extra items.
- They will then pack the clothes into beautiful gift bags to deliver to their partner charities for distribution.
- JoJo will cover the cost for sorting staff, all delivery costs to the charity partners, as well as shipping costs, import tax and onward distribution to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
- The emergency clothing packs will be distributed by some of the Trussell Trust’s 420 food banks across the UK and by partner charities in Lebanon.
I hope you will consider taking part in the campaign. Imagine how it must feel to not be able to clothe your child, and what a difference your donations can make.
Please share this post with any other parents you know who would consider donating their good quality children’s clothes to families in need in the UK and Lebanon. You can join in the discussion on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or you can tweet me on @cardiffmummy