"Earlier this year my partner and I learned that we were expecting a little bub. Being first time parents, we were starting from scratch and were keen to make sustainable choices in prepping for and raising our bub. In June this year I was participating in an activism initiative with Shift Australia, and my personal goal for the month was to start learning about and implementing environmentally sustainable parenting practices aimed at reducing waste. I posted on the Richmond GKN to seek advice of members around tips and tricks and environmentally friendly products relating to child rearing and to seek any secondhand baby items that people might be looking to sell or gift."
I was overwhelmed to receive over a dozen responses, most of which were offering to gift items, as well as some recommendations for sustainable product options. We received countless boxes of clothing, blankets, wraps, feeding equipment, feeding cushions, a change table and a few toys (and that was just what we accepted - many more items were offered!). A couple of members passed on clothing that was specifically made (or bought!) for our little bub.
All in all, I think we would have received over 100 items that may have otherwise ended up in landfill.
Above and beyond our initial goal of being sustainable, the generosity and kindness of our local community was incredibly heart-warming. The Richmond GKN helped us to feel connected and supported in what was a trying time given the disconnection and isolation of COVID lockdown this year.
Later in my pregnancy I reached out to see if anyone had a an exercise bike I could borrow to help managing my gestational diabetes when we went into the second lockdown. A wonderful member gifted me one that had been gathering dust, which was incredibly helpful, and I have since passed this on to a family member.
I have since caught up socially with one of the members who gifted us goods and look forward to continuing our friendship moving forward. The support we received was also incredibly helpful in a practical sense, given that we couldn't travel further than 5km in preparing for the arrival of our bub and also saved hundreds of dollars, if not more.
The warm and celebratory responses to my recent update post following our son's birth was also so lovely, and once again reinforced how lucky we are to be part of such a kind, caring and supportive community. Recently the Richmond GKN has also connected my partner and I with other new parents / expecting parents in the area. It has also supported us to become more sustainable by re-homing items we no longer need, to indirectly encourage sustainability among others in our community (e.g., offering solicited advice about local amenities etc) and to seek a advice of others in our local area (e.g., recommendations for local services etc). More broadly it has fostered a sense of community in an otherwise very urban area, as well as my confidence in asking for and receiving support
We are so grateful to have found the Richmond GKN and look forward to being active members for as long as we live in Richmond or the surrounding areas!
Marie says she feels “Grateful, because it makes me remember the good in the world and how lucky I am to be a part of a such a generous, warm and supportive community.’’