Move over Marie Kondo, Sue and Sheree White are ladies with an eye for detail, generously volunteering their organisational talent at Pregnancy Help Canterbury.
Unbeknown to the mother and daughter team, Pregnancy Help staff nominated them for the Volunteer Recognition Awards 2019 through Volunteering Canterbury. The Coordinator surprised the unsuspecting pair with an excited phone call that they’d been recognised alongside other community volunteers.
The resource and support centre in New Brighton is a non-judgmental safe haven for expectant mums and parents with little ones. Among the helpful services are shelves of preloved baby items, ready to be given out to parents in need throughout Christchurch.
A year ago, Sheree was recovering on ACC and wanted to volunteer while job hunting. She encouraged her mum, who was in between jobs, to join her in volunteering two afternoons a week. With reducing, reusing and recycling at the forefront, Sue and Sheree handle hundreds of generously donated items from bibs and onesies to pretty dresses – merino outfits are the most sought-after staple for winter.
They diligently sort each container with expert eyes, ensuring essentials for newborns to one-year-olds are sized and up to standard before they are distributed to clients. While the centre closed for Christmas, they even worked from home, ensuring baby clothes were ready for the New Year.
However, it’s the banter, camaraderie and welcoming warmth that makes them love volunteering here each week. And, as Sheree poignantly mentions, “I feel useful again and can see that my work really does make a difference”. Meanwhile, Sue jokes about hoping to sort baby clothes for her own grandchild one day. “She’s constantly teasing me about that!” Sheree laughs.