As mother of White Rock’s 2012 New Year’s baby, Tiffany Baldwin has no complaints.
She and husband Rob have a beautiful girl, Ryan Allegra Grace Baldwin – now rapidly approaching her first birthday – a treasured younger sister for their boy Jordan, who started Grade 1 this year.
But she’s taking the initiative to welcome White Rock’s first arrival of 2013 by organizing her own collection of donated goods and services for baby and mom – and she’s hoping her gesture will start a tradition that will last for years to come.
Baldwin emphasizes that Peace Arch Hospital and the hospital’s auxiliary certainly did their part in making Ryan and herself feel special when the baby was born last Jan. 1.
The arrival was welcomed with a vase of roses, a pink teddy bear, a sleeper set with the legend ‘I was born at Peace Arch Hospital’ and pink knitted boots and hat.
But long-time White Rock resident Baldwin – and others she’s talked to – can remember a time when the community was even more involved in celebrating the first baby of the new year in terms of donations in goods and services from local businesses.
It seems to be a tradition that’s fallen by the wayside, mostly because hospital staff and volunteers’ schedules are too busy to leave much time to solicit donations from local businesses already beseiged by requests.
“Maybe it’s just that we’ve become too big as a community,” Baldwin said.
“It would be nice to slow down a bit, take time to welcome the baby and family.”
That’s why Baldwin – who is returning to work in the new year as an on-call elementary school teacher for Surrey School District – started a Facebook page to encourage donations for a welcome basket of gifts for the 2013 baby and mom – in addition to whatever the hospital and auxiliary have planned.
And as busy as she is being a new mom – and also helping fundraise for her son’s school, Roots and Wings Montessori – Baldwin has raised some $600 in goods and services to present to the family of the first arrival of 2013.
“I feel good about what I’ve done,” she said, adding she found local merchants very responsive to her idea. “I just wish I’d started earlier. Some places had already exhausted their budgets for giving this year.
“I wanted to give back to the merchants, especially the small businesses in the area. They get hit up all the time for things like silent auctions at schools. That’s why I created the Facebook page. It’s something to show respect for their generosity.”
Among items donated in the 2013 collection are toys, health products, maternity wear, jewelry and spa treatments. The Piece Arch Quilters (Baldwin’s own mother is a member) have also contributed a quilt and face cloths.
Baldwin said that while she wants to pass the torch to others after this year – she would like to see the initiative become an annual tradition, and will include a personal note to the family of the next New Year’s baby with a plea for their personal co-operation.
“I really hope it carries on,” she said.
“The idea behind it is to make it a pay-forward arrangement. In starting the Facebook page, and building relationships with businesses, I’ve done all the groundwork and paved the way for the next New Year’s mom and family to go out and do the same thing.
“In time, it could be amazing – but it takes time and momentum and people knowing you’re committed.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/NewYearsBabySouthSurreyWhiteRock