District newcomer Jo-Alta Myburgh was in the process of launching a clothing exchange programme in Ashburton before the lockdown kicked-in.
The South African-born mother of two already has a big assortment of clothes aimed at newborns through to six-year-olds and wants to spread the word about the initiative.
“I had actually managed to pass on some items to one person before lockdown and I can’t wait for things to get back to normal, so more people can get involved with the clothing exchange.”
Mrs Myburgh said a big stash of clothing had been donated by a mother of five and she also had a bassinet, toys and books that people could take.
“It is a free exchange. The idea is that people make an appointment and we have a chat and they take what they need. As their children grow, they can come back and exchange previous items for new items.”
Mrs Myburgh will run the exchange from her home and is supported in the initiative by Tinwald’s New Life Church and friends made through the church.
“My family has been made to feel welcome in Ashburton since we first arrived here. We didn’t have too much with us to start with, and people were generous with supporting us while our things were shipped over.
“I’ve already made some good friends and thought the clothing exchange was a good way for me to give back and to do something for my new community.”
Mrs Myburgh said the clothing exchange idea had happened quite quickly and she was still developing it, while at the same time looking after her two children, who were both under three.
A Facebook page called Baby Go Round was being developed and she had also spoken to single parent support group Birthright about the clothing exchange and wanted more groups to know about it.
Mrs Myburgh came to New Zealand in August 2019 with husband Wouter, who is an agronomist and works for Wholesale Seeds in Tinwald. She can be contacted on 027 309 1241.