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This article was published 8/5/2012 (3449 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Pamela Delisle is parenting a new project that will provide gift bags of baby clothes to families in need.
The year-round, volunteer project — called You Can’t Spoil a Baby — will distribute bags to families that nominate themselves or who are referred by social workers at Women’s Hospital at Health Sciences Centre.
Having started the groundwork last November, Delisle is launching the project to coincide with Mother’s Day and hopes donations will soon start arriving at one of several drop-off locations, including River Heights, La Salle, East Kildonan, south St. Vital, Charleswood and the North End.
River Heights resident Lisa Manning — whose home is one of the drop-off points — said the project is valuable because it promotes equality.
"Based on my experiences, I think it’s very important," said Manning, whose child is 15 months. "We should share the wealth, because every kid deserves an equal chance."
The concept behind the project — which Delisle stressed is not a registered charity or non-profit organization: "It’s just my spare bedroom and a good team of people" — is simple.
You Can’t Spoil a Baby will collect new and gently-used baby clothes from the drop-off points and they will be sorted by season, size and gender and then cleaned, bagged and given to a family with a greeting card, Delisle said.
An attachment-parenting advocate, Delisle — who was raised in La Salle and attended St. Norbert Collegiate — said the idea was inspired by her time as a social worker at Women’s Hospital before she became a stay-at-home mom.
"Before, there was just a dusty donation box for basic baby clothes. I thought we could do better than that," said Delisle, who lives in Charleswood and has two young kids with her partner, John.
"Also, I love the idea of recycling. I guess I’m a bit of a hippie, but there are enough baby clothes already circulating in the city. I can’t imagine throwing away my son’s little outfit he came home from the hospital in, if it can be reused."
And if families can’t pick up the gift bag, it will be delivered within city limits: "If a CFS worker has a client that needs one, I’m hoping they’ll pick it up for them. But if someone with a baby has no resources to travel, of course they will be dropped-off."
Delisle hopes the project will also show parents their community values and cares for them and that information on the website will show how they can nurture strong and lasting connections with their child or children using attachment-parenting principles.
"This is an important teaching tool for kids to stay connected to all walks of life," she said.
For more information, or to volunteer, visit www.youcantspoilababy.org.
Simon Fuller is the reporter/photographer for The Lance. Canstar’s senior reporter, he joined the team in June 2009 to write for The Sou’wester, which was then the new paper in the Canstar family.