Share the Warmth Coat Drive 2016

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As I write this, it definitely does not feel like fall. But, before you know it, the chilly weather will become a daily routine. And if the meteorologists are on track, the fall chill is going to quickly give way to a very cold winter. Many of us are lucky and have a choice of coats to wear through the varying levels of cold a Canadian winter brings.

Some young mothers are not fortunate enough to have one coat, much less a choice of which one to wear. It has become an October tradition for us here at Carry Maternity to collect coats for the Swap Shop at Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women. Jessie’s Centre provides much needed services to empower pregnant teenagers, young parents and their children. Attendance in their programs is high throughout most of the year, but it drops with cold temperatures. Young moms want to get to Jessie’s Centre but accessing services can be difficult without appropriate outerwear.

Our Share the Warmth coat drive will run through Sunday, November 14th. You can donate gently-used, clean women’s coats (both maternity and non-maternity) as well as coats for children under 5 years old. In addition to your coat donations, Carry Maternity will donate 5% of our fall coat sales to the Well Woman and Well Baby Clinic. We hope that our Share the Warmth campaign will support young women to access all the incredible programs that Jessie’s Centre offers.

As a thank you for your coat donation, we will give you $10 Baby Bonus credit, which you can use for anything you’ll need for delivery or after. And if you need to find a coat for yourself, our Fall Coat Sale is on until Sunday, October 30th. You’ll get 15% off beautiful and practical winter coats from MCoat, Modern Eternity, Seraphine and Noppies. We also carry coat panels from Make My Belly Fit and Bridge the Bump (coming soon).

With gratitude for your help,

Pat, Sarah, Kshama, Kavya and Kat
The Carry Maternity Team

Share the Warmth with New Moms

Autumn is here. Like turning on a light switch, the leaves change colour and a chill creeps into the air.

The annual ritual of rummaging through closets for fall and winter jackets has begun. Luckily we usually find them exactly where they were packed away, ready to be of service again. Canadian weather can hand you almost anything, so most of us own several coats. We hang the ones useful for fickle fall weather in the hall closet, waiting for a nippy morning.

Some young mothers aren’t fortunate enough to have one coat, much less a choice of which one to wear, and are left struggling in the cold. For the past two years, we have collected gently used coats for the Swap Shop at Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women. Jessie’s Centre provides much needed services to help empower pregnant teenagers, young parents and their children. Their programs are well attended throughout most of the year, but attendance drops with cold temperatures. Travelling through winter weather to access services can be difficult without appropriate outerwear.

This year, we’ve decided to support Jessie’s further by donating 5% of our fall coat sales to the Well Woman and Well Baby Clinic. You can also help us not only by bringing a coat to donate but by telling your friends about our Share the Warmth campaign and encouraging them to donate as well. Along with women’s coats (non-maternity as well as maternity coats), we can also take coats for children under 5 years old. As a thank you for your donation, we will give you $25 off a new maternity/baby-carrying coat. We currently have beautiful and practical winter coats from MCoat, Modern Eternity, Seraphine and Noppies.

With gratitude for your help,

Pat, Sarah and Kshama
Carry Maternity

SUPPORT, IT MAKES A WORLD OF A DIFFERENCE.

When I was pregnant with my first child Graham, I was a busy entrepreneur.  My business partner and I were both pregnant at the same time and only five years into building an international design company specializing in maternity wear.   We were only able to take 8 weeks off each and then were back to work with babies in tow.

At the time, I was so busy and driven that I just accepted that I wasn’t part of any of the neighbourhood mummy groups.   Most of the time I was exhausted, but I was also thrilled will my new baby boy.

It was not until much later that I discovered what I had missed out on.  When I volunteered for school trips, I seemed to be out of the loop.  Most of the other mothers knew each other, but all my connections were work related, not within the neighbourhood.  The other mothers were not trying to exclude me, but they had become close through sharing their children’s milestones.

Finally, through a new friend in the neighbourhood, I joined a mothers’ group.  I felt out of place at first, but I soon forged the kind of friendships that come from within a small community and shared experiences.

It was like I’d discovered a whole new world where I didn’t have to figure out everything on my own.  It was a safe haven to open up and share stories and wisdom and resources.  Mothering became easier.  Now if I need a plumber, a dentist, a last-minute babysitter or someone to feed the cat, it is just a phone call or text away.

I know those early years would have been much easier if I had found these connections earlier.  So I guess my one piece of advice for pregnant women is that, regardless of how long you are on maternity leave and what your plans are when it is over,  joining a mothers’ group is invaluable.  And if one doesn’t exist, start your own.  It doesn’t have to be large or sophisticated, just a place for support.

yummymummyclub.ca/blogs/tanya-enberg-unexpected-mother/20130131/8-reasons-why-joining-a-moms-group-is-a-must

And here are some places to find just the right mothers’ group for you:

mumnet.ca

moms.meetup.com

toronto.ca/health/parenting

Raising kids while fighting cancer? Check out gildasclubtoronto.org

OWNER OF CARRY MATERNITY SUPPORTS WOMEN BEYOND TORONTO’S CITY LIMITS

Work for Widows is a charity organization that is a product of a truly tragic disaster. In 2004, a Tsunami devastated numerous coastal communities of Sri Lanka. Many women were left to face an uncertain future as the tsunami left them widowed, homeless and without income as they struggled to care for their children. The heartbreaking story of one particular woman sparked Work for Widows founder, Pamela Porodo into action. While assisting to feed, clothe and offer medical assistance to the victims of the disaster, a Buddhist monk who managed a Moratuwa camp was concerned about one of the displaced survivors and introduced her to Pam. Pam met the young 23 year old woman who was 6 months pregnant and alone. She had lost her home, mother, father, husband and three year old child to the deadly wave. Without hope and what she deemed a bleak future ahead of her, she was stealing medication from other victims in the camp to end her life and that of her unborn child.

Many hours were spent with this young woman in order to convince her to hand over the medication in exchange for a promise that there was a way to support herself  and child.  With no plan set in place yet, Pam bought a bag of beads, some fishing line and showed the young woman how to make a simple necklace,  promising to return to the camp the next day to buy her jewellery. Upon return it was clear that word had spread as Pam was greeted by a small crowd of local women. It was upon this humble platform that the organization was established. Today, Work for Widows has supported over 180 widowed and abandoned women along with 362 children under the age of 18. The overarching aim is to empower impoverished and abandoned women in Sri Lanka by providing with them a means to earn a living while staying at home to care for and educate their children.

Owner of Carry Maternity, Pat Gillespie explains that their reason for stocking the jewellery stems from their personal mandate – Our family extends beyond our own walls. “We wanted to support an organization that is doing something positive for women. Work for Widows is a wonderful initiative and we are so proud to be an advocate”. Pat, who also knows somebody who has lost their life in a tsunami, says that it is very easy to feel for the women. “the destruction caused to people’s lives from disasters such as this is horrendous“. This organization is unique in that rather than just providing immediate relief and refuge, it lays the platform for women to be able to make a living and provides ongoing support in their endeavours.

By volunteering as an ambassador for the program, Pat Gillespie  shares the same proactive spirit with other entrepreneurial ambassadors like Amber MacJodi Faith, and One Tooth Activewear.

Each piece is very personalized and comes with a thank you message from its maker. Very reasonably priced, it is a great way to make a small contribution to the livelihood program supporting hundreds of women and children. To find out more about the efforts of Work for Widows, or browse their jewellery visit them online. Alternatively, you can find a range of handmade jewellery for sale at Carry Maternity in Toronto’s Yorkville.