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

Only a Mother Knows

 Bump age: 28 weeks day 0

We all love our mothers. They are warm, loving, kind and our safe haven. But do we really love our mothers the way they love us? Only a mother knows…

…  the inconceivable joy that lights up her heart and face when she sees those two little red lines on her pregnancy test.

…  the regimen of prenatal pills and essential vitamins that will help her baby’s in-utero development. Before she became life bearing, she would often forget to even eat on busy days.

… the feeling of anticipation of her first ultrasound, when she gets to see her little angel for the very first time. To her, that ultrasound picture is perfect beauty, even though to the rest of world, it just looks like black matter with a small white dot.

…  the feeling of life when she experiences her baby’s first kick. Even though it was very faint, she can describe the moment over and over again with the same sparkle in her eyes.

…  the journey as she watches her body transform day by day to accommodate the growing needs of her baby bump. She readily trades in her Louboutins for Tod’s and her Hervé dresses for Tees by Tina.

… the definition of perseverance when she thinks she has no strength left inside her and she can’t push any more, when her delivery team is encouraging her with  “One last big push and you’ll get to meet your baby!” She bites her teeth, clenches the bedsheets once more and gives it her 120%, one more time.

…  the feeling of exhaustion from waking up at night for feedings, making sure her baby is sleeping soundly – then not being able to go  back to sleep in case her baby cries for help again.

…  the meaning of sacrifice when she gives up her warm mitts on a cold day so her baby’s little hands won’t freeze  

Only a Mother knows the feeling of fulfilment when all the blood, toil, tears and sweat are met with her baby’s first words “Mama, I lub you!” and a heart-melting hug.

Only a Mother knows that even though her baby loves her, she loves her baby to the moon and back.

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers and Mamas-to-be out there!

Xoxo,

Bay_and_Bloor

Happy Mother's Day with matching mother daughter dresses

 

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

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.

Saying Goodbye to Harmful Chemicals at Carry Maternity

“It really started when I was a young mother, and I was facing an illness,” she says. “That really motivated a lot of changes, so a big part of my devotion to the store being a clean environment has to do with my own health, and the health of women.”

Although women are expected to drop unhealthy habits like drinking, smoking and even caffeine from their lifestyles, Patknows there are plenty of lesser known factors in our environments that can be just as damaging. Toxins in everything from beauty products to cleaning supplies can all be absorbed through women’s skin, which can be harmful for both soon-to-be mothers and their babies.

“The number one reason we wanted to do all natural is that we’re so much more informed today about pregnancy and our body, the vessel that carries the child, being a clean environment,” Pat says. “Some women actually even prepare before they get pregnant, and really clean up their act.”

Part of that, she says, is eschewing products that let of gases and chemicals that can have a negative effect on the body. In the Carry Maternity store, Pat says she and her staff are “returning to the origins of cleaning,” using basic, natural materials that our mothers and grandmothers might have used, like baking soda and vinegar.

Generally speaking, she says that the women who come into Carry Maternity are well informed, and eager to learn more about how to create healthier conditions for themselves during pregnancy.

“I think it’s natural that women are also looking at what they’re putting on their body, what they’re putting in their body, and what’s in their environment,” she says. “Women are pretty committed these days to not just parenting, but the process of being pregnant as well.”

Some of Pat’s favourite all-natural products include:

J.R. Watkins Naturals Window Cleaner – works on mirrors, windows, glass tabletops, without leaving streaks or residue.

Whip-It Premixed, Ready To Go Formula – plant-based multipurpose “supercleaner”, capable of breaking down tough stains while disinfecting.

Nutribiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract – one of nature’s powerful disinfectant, it can be diluted to use on hard surfaces instead of bleach.