The Revelstoke Child Care Society bi-annual clothing, toys and goods exchange, took place this past weekend and saw nearly 300 families come through the doors.
The free exchange, where people do not need to donate in order to take goods, offers clothing from newborn to seven years of age, baby equipment like bassinets, maternity items, baths and bouncers, as well as a variety of toys, has been a family favourite for years.
Volunteers are a key part of the events success. This year there were around twenty volunteers. They included Me to We students, staff from the Childcare Society, Alliance for Literacy, Credit Union, and School District, along with some teenagers who help set up and take down the tables.
A group of the Me to We students hailed from Columbia Park Elementary. Danica Secord, Ava Lund, Michal and Korah Starling, and Jackie Bracken, all spent their Saturday ensuring the clothing exchange went smoothly.
“We were asked if we want to volunteer for it, and I think we’ve volunteered at four or five of these now,” says Jackie.
“It’s really fun,” says Ava. The students help set up and take down the event, as well as helping ensure the clothing is tidy and in the right place.
Many of the clothing donations that are not taken are packed up and saved for the next exchange. A portion of the infant and newborn onesies and receiving blankets are sent to Birte Paschen, a midwife who works with the Safe Motherhood Project, which takes the goods to Guatemala.
“We usually send four or five boxes of things to Birte from each exchange,” explains Linda Chell of the Revelstoke Childcare Society. “We also send items to the thrift shop and collect for families who can’t be here and who specially requested items for certain age groups.”
Tracy Spannier of the Revelstoke Early Years Program notes the events success is thanks in part to the funders who support the Childcare Society and Early Years. “We have two local funders, the Revelstoke Credit Union and a we have partnership with the City of Revelstoke and the Vancouver Foundation.”
Some newborn equipment has been put aside, and is available for families looking for items. Contact the Childcare Society for more information.