According to Jamie Littlefield, senior editor of the website, Charity Guide, around the world, "nearly one out of every two children is born into poverty." These babies often completely lack basic items---including clothing. Receiving blankets, baby gowns, one-piece outfits and cloth diapers are just a few of the items that children in developing countries need. International charitable organisations make it possible to send baby kits, either through purchasing one of their kits, or compiling your own.
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Things you need
- Receiving blankets
- Cloth diapers
- Diaper pins
- Baby socks
- Footed pyjamas
- Newborn gowns
- Short-sleeved bodysuits
- Long-sleeved bodysuits
- Newborn hat
- Mild bar soap
Research charities or organisations that deliver baby items directly to those in need. If you don't want to put together your own supply kit, you can purchase a newborn kit from World Vision, which includes a bassinet, a blanket, diapers, a water container and soap. The World Children's Organization also provides a donation kit, which includes receiving blankets, cloth diapers, diaper pins, baby washcloths and several pieces of newborn clothing.
Go online or call your chosen organisation to buy the baby kits for donation. In some cases, you can designate where your donation goes. In other situations, the charity can suggest those regions with the greatest need for baby items.
Compile your own baby kit. Use only new items. A single kit should include a receiving or swaddling blanket, four cloth diapers, a set of diaper pins, a pair of socks, a newborn-sized hat, a mild bar of soap, such as Dove, and several items of clothing. Choose a variety of baby clothes, such as footed pyjamas and bodysuits sized between 3 and 9 months. Newborn gowns usually fit babies from birth to 3 months.
Create several kits, if possible. Baby clothes, such as onesies, bibs and socks, come with three or four units in one package. This makes it easy to create many kits at once. Remove all the tags from the clothing. Unfold the receiving blanket and place the other items inside. Fold the blanket around the items and secure it with diaper pins.
Find an organisation that accepts donated baby kits and delivers them to developing countries. A local church doing missionary work overseas may take useful baby items, especially if the church's missionaries can transport the kits in their luggage. The Mennonite Central Committee accepts baby kits and has drop-off locations throughout Canada and the United States. It takes donations to Bosnia, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, North Korea, Serbia, Russia and Ukraine.
Tips and warnings
- It's best to work through an organisation, because it ensures that the kits gets to individuals in need. Another way to go about it is to contact a hospital in an area of a country you're interested in helping, because neonatal units in developing countries can always use baby kits or hand them out to new mothers.
- Consider holding a baby shower party to collect goods for donation. You'll be able to substantially increase what you have to send. One of the shower activities can be putting the kits together.
- If you have used baby items you want to donate, call your chosen organisation to ask about donations. Most charities only send new baby items because they're considered safest; clothing snaps and buttons can come loose over time and become choking hazards.
- Some organisations that deal exclusively in donating baby items to those in need, such as Newborns in Need, only work domestically. However, a domestic charity may be an option if you have something large, like a crib, that you'd like to donate.
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