Continuing our blog series ‘Nurture Loves…’ where we talk about all things that inspire and nurture us.
This month we talk to Super Mum Sam Negbenbor the founder of Tiny Toes & Tiny Feet. which helps support mothers and families struggling financially by providing good quality (pre-loved) second-hand items. I connected with Sam as I really recognise what she is doing is so important and wanted to find out more…
I set up Tiny Toes Tiny Feet was birthed after I rallied together by my ‘mummy friends’ to help a young lady expecting her 2nd child, living in temporary accommodation and struggling financially. The feedback I had was that mothers wanted the items they no longer used to go directly to families that need them vs being sold on again for a profit.
Child Poverty is such a crime, and I am trying to do my part to alleviate it one child at a time.
We now work with several organisations such as the Helen Bamber Foundation, Sufra Food Bank, Hibiscus, Hillingdon Council – (Social Services, Children & Families), Latin American Women’s Outreach and the like.
When did you start the initiative and what has been your biggest challenge so far?
We started in December 2015, and the biggest challenge so far as a Not for Profit organisation is that we rely purely on funding to operate. Right now we are trying to secure some storage space as all the donated items are being stored in my garage. We currently have to say no to the bigger donations such as cots and nursery furniture, which is a shame as clients have requested these items. Another challenge is transportation as a lot of clients don’t drive, and the packages are too big to get on London Transport.
We love your passion and think it really shines through, how do you manage with all the donations you receive, and how does it work with your local support services.
We receive 3-4 donation emails or calls a day, which is fantastic; we also have a waiting list of the items clients need. So as soon as a donation comes in, sometimes it is out the next day. It could be a client or social worker who picks up the requested package, or there have been occasions I have delivered packages myself.
I work with great organisations; we get referrals usually via email and work with the client until they have received their package of items.
As a sustainable brand, we are always talking about choosing our clothing well do you have a recommended amount of clothing you donate to a mother? And what would be your advice on how many items of clothing you need for the baby?
What is great about Baby banks is that item in good conditions are not being thrown away, or sold on but instead are being handed directly to families who have requested them and need them.
The amount of clothes we donate depends on how much we have in stock, the age of the child/children, and how many children a mother has. We work with families who have fled violent situations with no belongings; we look at each case on an individual basis. We work alongside the Social/Support Worker to ensure we get the amount right. I currently have a 14-week old baby, and he is probably going through 2/3 Babygrows a day (mainly because of ‘sick milk’ as my kids put it (lol). Babies don’t need a lot of clothes, it’s more the vests and jumpsuits, I do two washes a week, and that seems to be working out just fine.
What is your top tip for sustainable parenting?
Not all the clothes you buy for your children need to be NEW. Many charities sell excellent second-hand clothing, make sure you inquire about what projects your money will be helping to support.
Spreading the word that baby clothes/items if still in good condition, can help families in need. Partnering with us to donate items that our clients really need
If you would like to find out more about how to support, donate, or volunteer then check them out here:
For Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tinytoestinyfeet/
For Twitter: https://twitter.com/tinytoestinyfe1
For Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinytoestinyfeet/
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