Why we began
No baby should start life with only a hospital gown to wear
Laura Howard established Littlemore in March 2013, after hearing a passing comment from her midwife about how some babies born in Auckland hospitals were sent home in baby-sized hospital gowns as their families had no clothes for them.
The words of this conversation replayed in her mind over and over again in those first few months as a new parent. Laura knew she had to do something about it. Many other new parents were also wondering what to do with the mountains of baby clothes and other gear their little ones had outgrown.
Bundles of goods were delivered to maternity units and distributed by midwives to families in need. Over time, word spread, demand grew and it was clear that there was a real need for baby items across Auckland. And from this, the idea of starting a charity to help babies in need was born.
What we do
Littlemore’s driving concept remains very simple: pre-loved baby essentials from one Kiwi to another. Basically, we give baby gear a second life!
Generous families donate baby clothing and other baby items in excellent condition to us. We sort, process and organise these life-changing items, so they can be donated directly to families in need with newborns.
From the outset, we recognised we could make far more of an impact and help more families by partnering with organisations who have the expertise to identify families with the greatest needs. Typically, these families are dealing with a range of serious challenges, such as poor housing, homelessness, poor health, financial distress, relationship breakdown, lack of family support/networks and social isolation, while welcoming a new baby into their home.
How we have grown…
Since 2013, Littlemore has grown significantly, from the small set-up in Laura’s home to the bigger commercial storage space so generously donated by Storage King Grey Lynn to this day.
Littlemore donations have touched thousands of people’s lives every year. The increasing number of community donors from Auckland and nationwide enjoy knowing that their child’s precious things will be passed onto families that really need it.
As our organisation grew, our operational needs grew too. From 2017, we saw a need to employ our very first and only part-time employee to manage the continued growth and ensure we achieve the greatest impact in our community.
Over the last few years, we have experienced major growth. We have expanded our volunteer team and the number of social profit organisations and services supported, to ensure that we can continue our vital service Auckland wide. We’re also incredibly thankful to our voluntary Board of Trustees who so generously give their valuable time, expertise and strategic oversight.
A little recognition for the work we've done
Awarded Community of the Year (Achievement) in the New Zealander of the Year Awards (2019)
Awarded a Kiwibank NZ Local Hero of the Year Medal (2017)
A national finalist in the Fly Buys NZ Mumtrepreneur Awards (2015).
Won the Community Spirit Award at Pride of New Zealand Awards (2015).
Communities where whanau have the baby items they need to nurture their babies and keep them warm and safe.
Pre-loved baby essentials from one Kiwi to another.
The simple act of giving to those who need a helping hand in our community, and sharing the joy of being a parent, is at the heart of everything we do. We seek to reflect that simplicity by remaining focused on our core business, taking pleasure in small gains, keeping red tape and costs to a minimum and using good old common sense and elbow grease when needed.
We were founded on and constantly rely on the generosity of our community of volunteers, donors and supporters. We celebrate small acts of kindness, engage communities with our passion and shout our story from the rooftops.
We work alongside and support groups from across the wide range of nationalities, cultures and interest groups that make up New Zealand. We work in partnership with the people working and living in these communities so that our services support the goals, aspirations and needs that they consider important. We acknowledge the unique role of Māori as tangata whenua in New Zealand and seek to uphold the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
We recognise that infants often outgrow baby items before they are worn out or used up. We are committed to avoiding waste by finding new homes for these goods that benefit Kiwi babies. Wherever possible, we recycle and reuse the materials we use to run our operations and carefully consider how our activities impact on the communities and environments that we support and are part of.
We honour the love that families have for their newborns and their heart held desire to do the best for their children. We provide quality baby gear that is safe and meets the high standards we have for our own children, and we don’t judge people’s circumstances.
We freely share our goals and dreams and tell people about our successes and challenges so our givers are Littlemore lovers for life. We show people how their support is helping others, and always do what we say we’re going to do. We hold ourselves to strong ethical standards and admit our mistakes.
We work with like-minded individuals and organisations who share our goals and values, to help further, support, and recognise the great work they’re doing. We celebrate the act of giving as a gift to the giver. We consider how our actions affect others. We look for the win:wins.