When it comes to getting rid of clothes, toys, and other household items that we no longer need, many of us tend to think of it as a chore. But what if we told you that by donating your pre-loved and no longer needed goods, you could be making a huge impact on the lives of children and families in need? And better yet, you’re not only recycling, you’re supporting a local children’s charity that helps families across Melbourne and doing your bit to create a sustainable world – win-win!
Big Group Hug is a charity in Melbourne that collects various items such as clothes, toys, baby goods (in other words hand-me-downs) and hygiene products to help children and families in need. By donating your pre-loved or no longer needed goods to Big Group Hug, you not only declutter your home, but you also make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
Since its inception in 2014, Big Group Hug has been able provide over 15,000 care packs for babies and children in need, providing them with essential items such as clothes, toys, cots, prams, car seats and hygiene products. Through the generous donations of our supporters, we were able to provide over 100,000 essential items in the 2022 financial year alone, all for children and families in need. You can learn more about this here.
In addition to helping families in need, Big Group Hug has also made a significant impact on the environment. By recycling and reusing donated items, we saved over 60 tons of salvageable items from entering landfill in the last financial year. This not only helps to conserve resources but also reduces the strain on our landfills and helps to create a more sustainable future for all.
But our work is far from done. With continued support from the community, we can achieve even more. Every donation, no matter how small, helps to make a difference in the lives of children and families in need. Every item donated is one less item that ends up in a landfill and helps to conserve resources.
With that said, it is understandable that many people don’t know the ways in which they can help families in need, and so, we have compiled this helpful guide to help you help us!
DONATE CLOTHES FOR CHILDREN
Donating pre-loved clothes to children in need is a great way to give back to the community and make a positive impact on the lives of those who may not have access to the same resources as others. It allows children to have access to clothes that are in good condition and can help boost their self-esteem and confidence.
Whilst we greatly appreciate all support, it’s important to consider the condition of the clothes before donating, as clothes that are stained, torn, heavily worn or reference a family member or festive season may not be useful to all children.
GIVE CHILDREN A CHANCE TO PLAY
Donating your toys your children no longer play with to children facing various socioeconomic disadvantages is a small but meaningful way to make a big impact in a child’s life. These children, from newborns to teenagers, often face many challenges in their daily lives and may not have access to the same resources as other children. Without access to developmentally appropriate toys, they miss out on important opportunities for play and learning that help to shape their development.
Children learn physical abilities including coordination and fine motor control through play. They also get the ability to articulate their feelings and comprehend those of others. Children’s cognitive abilities, such as creativity, memory, and problem-solving, are also developed through play. Last but not least, play gives kids the chance to practice social skills like sharing and cooperation.
Our dedicated volunteers lovingly create toy packs with items that are donated, ensuring the toys provided go as a set (e.g. a doctor doll with medical accessories).
We also understand that every child deserves to have their needs considered, and so we offer special toy packs, tailored to the needs of children with developmental difficulties, such as learning disorders. Our aim is to provide these children with toys that will help them learn, grow, and have fun.
By donating toys, you can give a child the chance to experience the joy and benefits of play. It can also help to alleviate some of the stress and financial burden that disadvantaged families may face in providing for their children. It’s important to consider the condition of the toys before donating, as toys that are broken or unsafe may not be useful to the children.
SUPPORT FAMILIES IN NEED
Many families are struggling to make ends meet, and by donating your pre-loved but still in great condition clothes and toys, and new hygiene products and toiletries, you can help them keep their children clothed and clean. This can alleviate some of the stress and burden on these families and allow them to focus on more important things like their children’s education and well-being. Many of us have been the recipients of a hand-me-down or two. And there is something really special about playing with a toy that brought another child happiness and joy. Or wearing a coat that kept someone else warm for a winter and allowed them to explore the outside world and discover the wonders of mother nature.
You can find out more about our accepted items list here.
HELP TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
When we recycle, we reduce the need for new resources to be extracted and processed, which can be a costly and environmentally damaging process. For example, recycling clothing reduces the need for new cotton to be grown, and recycling electronics reduces the need for new metals to be mined. This not only helps to conserve our planet’s resources, but it also helps to reduce the carbon footprint associated with extracting and processing new materials.
ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DONATE
At Big Group Hug, we are all about our sense of community and looking out for one another. This sentiment is what has driven our organisation for the past decade and is what continues to push us forward to strive for a better future for families across Melbourne. Fortunately, we have been able to find many wonderful volunteers that share this exact same view, and in turn help us daily at our warehouses, or through donating much needed items. If you are unable to provide support or are unsure if you have anything that families would need, encourage those around you to be mindful of the things they throw out, and instead look for donation and recycling options. In doing so, you create far more opportunities for us to service families and communities that are much in need, ultimately increasing our impact. If you have the time available, we also welcome you to volunteer with us, at home or in person, find out more here.
CLEAR UP SPACE IN YOUR HOME
Cleaning out your closet or toy box can free up space in your home and make it more organized. It can also give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. And so, we encourage all who are engaging in their weekly, monthly or yearly clean and sort (don’t worry we won’t judge!) to keep Big Group Hug in mind as an option for donating goods. Has your little one outgrown their stroller? Has that huge box of toys not been touched in quite some time? Did you accidentally buy the wrong sized nappies? Or perhaps your child has outgrown some of their clothes and it’s time for a new wardrobe? If any of these thoughts sound familiar, we’d love for you to consider donating to Big Group Hug, where your hand-me-downs mean so much!
MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR COMMUNITY
As we’ve said, Big Group Hug is driven by its sense of community. By donating to us, you’re not only helping families in need, but you’re also making a difference in your local community. You’re showing that you care about the well-being of others and that you’re willing to take action to make a positive change. No matter how big or how small the donation, the impact this can have on a family’s life is profound.