Has your child already outgrown the new clothes you just bought? Don’t worry, many parents are in the same boat. That’s why one mother started Little Swappies, an organization that holds local events for parents to swap their children’s clothes–one of which is coming up next weekend. We checked in with founder Lauren Patterson to find out more about the upcoming event.
What kind of things can people bring and what can people expect to gain in a swap?
Swappable items include: Children’s clothing size 0-5T, costumes, books, toys, and maternity wear.
What inspired the swapping events and how did they grow?
When my daughter was born our friends and family bought her such beautiful clothing. She grew so fast. I remember going into her closet when she was around 6 months old and feeling terrible because she had already outgrown many of these adorable outfits–some brand-new with tags still on them. I didn’t have any close friends who were pregnant to give the clothes to, and I wasn’t sure if and when we would have more children. I knew that other mothers must be in a similar situation.
One day another mother sent a message through our mother’s group Bowery Babies asking if anyone wanted to organize a clothing swap. I immediately knew that this was the answer. It was the perfect way to bring mothers in our community together and to swap the items our children no longer use for items that they need. In a place like New York, feeling a sense of community with other mothers is very important. Having a baby can be an isolating experience, and having other mothers to turn to is very important. These events allow other mothers to meet and mingle in addition to swapping their items.
Why should people attend? What are the benefits to the community?
There are so many reasons to attend these events:
- You extend the life of your items by giving them a new home.
- You receive as many new items as you choose to take–this is not a one-for-one swap.
- You will meet our awesome event sponsor–companies that are socially responsible, innovative, and family-oriented (and many which are local and mom-owned).
- You will be protecting our planet by recycling.
- You will also be supporting homeless teen mothers and their children in Covenant House’s Mother/Child Crisis Center and Nursery Program.
- You will create more space in your apartment, always a plus in NYC.
- The events are a wonderful place to meet and connect with other parents living in our community.
What’s Covenant House and why did you choose it as the organization to help?
I believe that it is our duty to help others less fortunate in any ways that we can. I first about Covenant House through a friend who volunteers in their nursery. Their Mother/Child Emergency Shelter Program provides a variety of stabilizing services to young homeless single mothers and their infants/toddlers. Last year alone, Covenant House admitted over 550 homeless single mothers (under age 21) along with 557 of their infants/toddlers, at their Emergency Shelter Program. The majority of these young women are survivors of child abuse and parental neglect, further increasing their chances of becoming perpetrators of the abuse.
The dedicated staff educates these moms on the dangers, symptoms and consequences of child abuse and maltreatment, in the hopes to prevent any parental neglect or abuse from occurring. Their staff also conducts workshops aimed at helping these young mothers to learn to develop adaptive coping mechanisms in the presence of parenting stressors and to emphasize the importance of practicing healthy parenting techniques.
When: Sunday, 5/5, from 10am to 1pm
Where: The Avenues School (259 Tenth Avenue at 25th Street)
What to bring: A minimum of five new or like new items, including: clothing (sizes 0-5T), books, and toys appropriate for children ages 0-6.
Price: $15 in advance, $20 at the door