Heartfelt maternity donation brings joy to seniors and bubs
In the spirit of giving, more than 300 items were donated to The Townsville Hospital maternity ward from residents St James Retirement Village, who knitted, crocheted and shopped for a good cause.
St James Retirement Village manager Wendy Williams said the idea was sparked when the village’s chef became the very first staff member to fall pregnant.
“When our chef Kelly became pregnant the whole village was over the moon; however, we knew Kelly and her husband had everything they needed so we decided to donate to mums who were just starting out or who were in need,” Wendy said.
“Each bag was hand-sewn by a resident and contains: nappies, baby wipes, clothing, toys, rattles, hair brush – basically whatever a mum might need in those first few weeks plus some clothing ranged up to a one year to tide them through.
“This is one generation providing for a whole new generation.”
Wendy said the entire retirement village rallied to put the baskets together, which helped to bolster all-important social connections for everyone.
“We saw it as a brilliant way to increase social connections for our residents, as they were all buzzing with excitement and talking about what they’d buy for the babies.
“People of this age can sometimes lose those social connections without realising it,” Wendy said.
“The funniest part was explaining to visitors why an office in a retirement village was overflowing with nappies, teddies and children’s clothes.”
Residents’ committee president Jennifer Buckby said the donation was such a hit that it would now become an annual event at the retirement village.
“At St James none of us wants for anything because we’re so well looked after, but this makes us stop and realise that there are people in our community who do not have what we do,” Jennifer said.
“It was really rewarding seeing residents come in with a sparkle in their eye because they’d found something new for the baskets.
“I think it’s fair to say that almost all of us love seeing babies and Kelly’s newborn, Mihai, will be so flooded with love because she will have so many grandparents, so for us to help those who don’t have that is just such a good feeling.”
Townsville Hospital and Health Service social worker Sarah Kingston said the donations would go a long way for mothers in the community.
“We have a lot of mothers who, unfortunately, come in and are struggling with homelessness, escaping domestic violence or financial difficulties so just getting that start for them will make the world of difference,” Sarah said.
“I think it’s a really nice way of connecting people who wouldn’t otherwise interact in the outside community.
“It’s also really special to tell the mothers where the donations have come from and it certainly goes a long way to restoring faith in our community.”