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Baby mania helps charity fundraiser for Little Sprouts

A country gripped in baby mania with the arrival of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s baby has had a positive impact for charity Little Sprouts which gives out baby packs to babies in real need across New Zealand.

Little Sprouts is running a two-week charity auction fundraiser on Trade Me and founder and manager Jo Alderdice said not only has the first week’s auction items raised over $1500 but there’s also been some “out of the blue” donations of cash and baby gear.

“We’re not sure if it’s a coincidence but there has definitely been strong interest in the first of two weeks of auctions, and we’ve also had more donations than a usual week.”

Annually Little Sprouts give out over $1 million a year of much needed baby packs, valued at over $1200 each, to families in need. Over 1,000 volunteers including many hobby crafters (craft angels) as well as corporate businesses such as Fastway Couriers “do their bit to make the arrival of a new baby a bit easier.”

Little Sprouts has listed items and vouchers from over 30 businesses Trade Me, all donated by businesses who want to help to change babies’ lives. The second week of items are now listed at trade.me/littlesproutsnz

Little Sprouts was founded by Ms Alderdice in Wellington in 2009 and has now expanded to Auckland, Gisborne, Kapiti Coast and Christchurch.

“Our packs have been carefully designed to make a huge difference to the health, safety, and well-being of babies in real need.

Each pack includes everything a baby needs at birth, plus we also provide a safe sleeping space wherever needed, as well as strollers, baby baths, baby safety gates, high chairs and more.

There is no way we would be able to give out as many packs and help hundreds and hundreds of babies each year if it wasn’t for our many volunteers and sponsors such as Fastway Couriers, whose drivers help pick up baby pack items around New Zealand and deliver them to our office,” she said.

The packs are then picked up by social workers from over 50 charities such as Heart Kids, the Women’s Refuge, Birthright, Barnardos, the Red Cross, the City Mission, Family Start Programs for vulnerable babies, the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust, Paediatric Oncology social workers, the Neonatal Trust and hospital social workers and are delivered to new parents.

Fastway Couriers Wellington general manager Callum Bircher said they were first approached in 2013 to help deliver some moses baskets to Wellington and the “amazing warm fuzzies” from being involved has spurred staff to look at other ways to help out.

“We love being involved in the local community, it’s a big part of Fastway and we saw Little Sprouts as a great initiative to support. We’ve got drivers out and about all over the city, so it made sense that we could pick up gift items.

We took it a step further in 2015 when we ran a baby gear drive to help fill baby packs with our 17 depots being used as drop off sites for donated goods,” Mr Bircher said.

Ms Alderdice approached Fastway about how they could help with the latest charity auction fundraiser.

“We have a close relationship and when I told them about the idea of auctions on Trademe, they generously offered to courier everything for free. We could not have run this event without their support."

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