How Little Scholars supports Baby Give Back
At the core of Little Scholars School of Early Learning lies a strong foundation built on four pillars: Contribute, Grow, Inspire, and Learn. Embracing these pillars, Little Scholars believes in a philosophy centered around understanding the purpose behind everything they do. Their focus is on nurturing children’s holistic development, encompassing social, cognitive, emotional, physical, and moral aspects. One of the fundamental elements of the Contribute pillar is Little Scholars’ meaningful partnership with Baby Give Back.
As a Southeast Queensland charity dedicated to assisting vulnerable babies, children, and families in the local community, Baby Give Back ensures that every child has an equal start in life. On 6 June, they held their annual fundraising event, the Baby Give Back Giving Drive 2023. Last year, this initiative raised an impressive $410,000, with valuable contributions from partners like Little Scholars. This year, they raised EVEN MORE! $413,453! The Little Scholars community generously helped donate more than $67,000 toward the final tally!
The charity began after founder Carly Fradgley, a lawyer at the time, had completed her family and wanted to pass along her baby items that were still in great condition. Carly began collecting items and connecting with agencies, and her garage quickly became a makeshift storage shed for the donations received. Quickly growing, Baby Give Back moved into a warehouse and Carly now works full time for Baby Give Back as CEO.
The charity collects, besides funds, items from clothing to nappies, cots, car seats, prams and more. There is a thorough process to ensure that every item they collect is safe, clean and in great condition, to meet the needs of each family’s needs and circumstances.
The need is big in the local community. Baby Give Back assisted 9,524 children in 2022. They also helped 2,366 flood-impacted children in Lismore, northern New South Wales who needed relief following the disastrous floods.
While families need support for a variety of reasons, one of the biggest issues they face is domestic and family violence. Last year, 42% of the nearly 10,000 children Baby Give Back helped were affected by domestic and family violence, and that remains a top issue in 2023, according to Carly.
Little Scholars and The Scholars Group founder Jae Fraser first heard about the plight of Baby Give Back in 2019.
When Jae married that year, he and his partner requested no wedding gifts, but rather, asked their guests to each bring a new toy for a child in need. They didn’t know exactly where they would donate them, but their friend suggested Baby Give Back. That began a beautiful friendship.
“Our guests were so generous, and after we connected with Carly and her volunteers, we knew we wanted to help. Our personal gift drive inspired us to do the same thing with our campuses that Christmas,” says Jae. “It’s the perfect partnership.”
Carly agrees. She says she was emotional to see the gifts roll up.
“When Jae turned up at our warehouse with a car and trailer both overflowing with new gifts, I cried. It was so overwhelming to see so many wonderful gifts and know that I could jump on the phone to the caseworkers who thought their families would miss out,” she says. “There were more tears when caseworkers came to collect gifts with many of them telling me that these gifts would be the only things that the children would receive – they weren’t extras, it was all they would have.”
The toy drive was perhaps a little too successful for the small charity, as they ran out of storage room along with their essential items! Now, their focus is back to where it always was, ensuring deserving families have what they need.
Now, Little Scholars and Baby Give Back partner together over several fundraising events each year, and the wider Little Scholars community pitches in as well. Little Scholars employees and families donate gently used items at each of the 13 Little Scholars campuses.
To learn more about Baby Give Back and how to help, visit: babygiveback.org
“We have built a great partnership with Little Scholars over the last 5 years on a foundation of shared values in both of our organisations striving to give children the best possible start to life,” Carly says.
“The financial support from Little Scholars has been crucial to our ability to keep the doors open through some really rough times,” Carly adds. “They also coordinate collections of the donations we need across the year. In addition to financial support, Little Scholars sponsor our t-shirts for volunteers allowing us to provide these free of charge and the Family Packs that are given to every family we support, letting them know that the support comes from the community with compassion.”
Children helping children
The children and community love Little Scholars and are thrilled to help. All 13 campuses hosted individual fundraising events to support Baby Give Back ahead of its annual June Giving Day.
“The parents have been amazing with supporting our fundraisers over the past few weeks,” says Nat Carey, Deception Bay campus manager.
Children at every campus participated in bake sales, sausage sizzles, art exhibits and gold coin events to raise as much as they can for their peers in need.
While community service is part of the national framework that childcare campuses follow, it’s more than that, says Alison Carney, campus manager of Little Scholars Ormeau Village campus.
“By engaging in charity events such as Baby Give Back’s Giving Day and all year round, and other events in the community, we not only contribute to the well-being of others but also shape the hearts and minds of our children, encouraging a generation empowered to create a more compassionate and inclusive world.”