The Nappy Collective
It took a handful of nappies, some volunteering with a women’s refuge and one lightbulb moment for Sandra Jacobs to think up The Nappy Collective. After spending time speaking with mothers at a shelter, and hearing stories of their financial hardship and stress of being unable to afford nappies for their little one, Sandra felt deep empathy to mothers struggling to afford this basic need while trying to recover from the trauma of family violence. A handful of outgrown nappies at the back of her daughter’s cupboard wouldn’t do much to help one mum, but surely, if every parent had a handful of spare nappies, collectively, a real impact could be made.
It was late 2013 when The Nappy Collective ran its first collective. One collection point in Melbourne amassed 1500 nappies in two weeks, with only social media to spread the word. The seed was planted, and the vision for The Nappy Collective was born. A Board filled with five professional women, with nine children between them, and an array of backgrounds including finance, law, marketing, accounting and fashion, was assembled. The team shared Sandra’s passion for helping families in crisis through such simple but effective means. By February 2014, the next collective was on. This time, there were 15 drop points in Melbourne and 5 in Sydney, collecting a staggering 26,682 nappies. Emails and messages poured in from mothers around Australia – from Byron Bay to Brisbane, Adelaide to Hobart, mums were mobilised, wanting to donate nappies and reach out to families doing it tough.
The Nappy Collective is now preparing for its next collective, commencing July 21 – August 4. Collectives will expand to Brisbane, Newcastle, Byron Bay and Perth. Moran Dvir, Board Member, said, “our rapid growth is testament to the army of Australian mums out there wanting to support mothers in shelters who are struggling and under financial strain. Donating some spare nappies doesn’t cost much, but collectively, we are able to help mothers in real hardship. Their limited financial means can be used instead for other basic essentials we all know too well about – food, medicine, clothes and other necessities. Many mothers arrive to refuges with the clothes on the back, not even a handbag, having run away with nothing and towing young children and babies. Often the partner has cut up their credit card or limited their financial independence as part of the abuse cycle. Any mother can share the horror of not being able to change their baby often because they simply cannot afford nappies. Or worse still, going without food or medicine in order to buy nappies for their little one. Material aid is desperately needed for many families, and this is a quick, simple way for the community to get behind these families and help them.”
In Victoria alone, over 600 women and children are in crisis accommodation every night because of family violence. With one in three Australian women experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime, The Nappy Collective seeks to raise awareness of the plight of thousands of mothers and children by collecting nappies. As well as mothers in refuges, The Nappy Collective provides nappies to other organisations like Whitelion, St Kilda Mums, Melbourne City Mission and Barnados. To stay up to date with The Nappy Collective, you can subscribe via email on their website www.thenappycollective.comor their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/thenappycollective