If you follow my socials, you’ll have come across St Kilda Mums, a Melbourne-based non-profit that re-homes nursery equipment and clothing with Victorian families and babies in need.
Back in February 2016 I helped St Kilda Mums with their campaign to upgrade to a bigger headquarters in Vale Street, presenting a special report on their work on The Project and supporting their fundraising campaign.
St Kilda Mums smashed their donation target during that campaign and in April 2016 I was with Jessie the day she received the keys for their new home.
The new Vale St HQ became operational in July 2016, and that move has enabled the St Kilda Mums to double their output in the two and a half years since.
Between July 2017 and early January this year, St Kilda Mums have helped 13,052 families including 24,695 children, 5,350 of whom were younger than 12 months old. They’ve distributed 74,106 items valued at $9,640,711 including 13,771 clothes bundles, 4,237 prams and strollers, 1,201 highchairs, 1,209 baby carriers, 1,191 baby baths, 1,444 bouncers, 1,305 nappy bags, 8,462 toiletries, and 3,651 packs of wipes.
And these figures increase exponentially if you include their sister organisations, Geelong Mums and Eureka Mums who St Kilda Mums assist with sourcing, processing and distribution of donations.
But, like a baby that has learned to crawl and has explored every part of their home, the St Kilda Mums team has continued to develop and grow, and they are now ready to stand up tall and take the next steps in their development.
Their goal is to help more babies than ever before, but to do that they need to move into their dream home. One three times the size of their current premises. And, to secure their dream home they need to raise the first year’s rent – $250,000 – before their Vale Street lease runs out in May.
St Kilda Mums have come a long way since their first headquarters – on the porch of CEO Jessie Macpherson’s St Kilda home 10 years ago. Originally formed by five mums who got together to donate their pre-loved baby clothes, and valuable items like their prams that they no longer needed but wanted to go to good homes, the operation grew steadily as word spread attracting more and more donations from the wider community.
As the volume of donations increased the non-profit moved into a garage belonging to some local grandparents who wanted to help, to their first rented site at Vale Street, to their expanded premises in Vale Street in 2016.
Of the recipients of St Kilda Mum’s amazing work over the past two and a half years, 11,194 have experienced family violence, 11,638 are asylum seekers, 8,955 are unemployed and 7,712 are homeless, among a wide variety of reasons they have experienced disadvantage.
And as well as helping all those families and babies the St Kilda Mums have helped me, and many others interested in learning, how to waste less and share more to help care for many babies, children and families going through hard times.
The St Kilda Mums’ motto is that no child should go without the basic material needs - like a safe cot to sleep in.
Currently one in five children in country Victoria, and one in six children in the metropolitan area, are born into poverty. A single mum on Newstart gets $600 per fortnight which only goes a little way towards covering the costs of raising a baby or young child.
Moving into a new headquarters will enable St Kilda Mums to triple their output over the next five years, helping them to address this unmet need.
Every dollar you donate to St Kilda Mums’ Dream Home campaign will help them increase the incredible work they do, and reach more families.
If you would like to donate to help with SKM's dream premises to help every baby and child, please head to Dreamhome.raisely.com
I have been so moved by meeting the St Kilda Mums team, and the families they’ve helped who have endured some of the most mind-blowing challenges, at events including their Mother’s Day lunch, which is one of my favourites.
By supporting and giving to an organisation like St Kilda Mums, I believe we become a stronger community filled with love and hope.
I am so excited to see this incredible non-profit organisation’s next steps, and want to congratulate Jessie on receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2019 Australia Day Honours List, for her service to the community through the not-for-profit sector.
If you want to check out the incredible people who volunteer, give so kindly, and spread so much joy, check out their socials.