Small Things Done With Great Love
As mums, we can all appreciate that motherhood is a huge responsibility. All consuming. Life affirming. Miraculous. But also, at times, gruelling.
Imagine for a moment, that you were trying to fulfill this mammoth responsibility, one of life’s biggest challenges, without a support network, or even a safe environment for your family to call home.
That’s what founder of MumKIND, Kate Earl, had in mind when she established the South Australian volunteer-run charity which aims to show kindness to women who are facing adverse circumstances, including homelessness, unemployment, domestic abuse and/or poverty, while also raising children.
Forming partnerships with social service agencies across South Australia, MumKIND aims to do small things with great love, demonstrating care and compassion for families across the state, who are in desperate need of support.
We chat with Kate about MumKIND and how the charity is supporting South Australian women and children.
Tell us about MumKIND and what your inspiration was for founding the charity?
It really started from experiences of motherhood. My first child, William, was a dream. I thought it was challenging at the time of course, but looking back he was an easy-going baby and it was easy for me to enjoy him. Number two, Charlie, came along and it was a wakeup call for me. He was beautiful and I adored him wholeheartedly, but he just didn’t sleep. So I didn’t sleep.
William was a toddler and he too was up several times a night; my husband was often away for work and life was large to say the least. Overnight I would bounce from room to room tending to the boys. I was denied any quality sleep and for the first time in my life I experienced true stress.
One particular night when I was really struggling, I thought it couldn’t get more intense than it was – surely. I had to dig deep that night and push through – that’s what mothers do. For me I focused on the positives in the situation, and there were so many; two healthy, beautiful children, a solid roof over my head, my husband who is the nicest man I know and all the support I needed. It was easy for me to count my blessings and I took strength from them all.
Looking back, I can see how I was able to find so much strength at a time when I was so exhausted and overwhelmed, and it’s really because of my parents’ influence throughout my upbringing and to this day…. As a family, we believe in the power of our relationships and in positivity – that’s a pretty great combination, it gives you great strength when you need it.
As I counted my own blessings and felt the gratitude of this, I then turned my thoughts to the millions of women navigating motherhood, but who didn’t perhaps have the support that I had. No roof over their head, not such a caring partner, generational poverty, long-term unemployment, perhaps not knowing where their next meal was coming from.
I never intended to wake up and start a charity, but I was compelled to do something meaningful. And if you’ve ever done a random act of kindness for someone, you’ll know – it’s the most empowering feeling, especially when you can inspire others to do the same. And that’s where it started.
How did you turn your thoughts from that night into the reality of MumKIND?
I reached out to my girlfriends and simply said “let’s do something good for women. Let’s support Mother’s who are raising children without the basic necessities and without anything or anyone to support them. Let’s do something great for the world”. The number of useful and beautiful items that the girls delivered was incredible. I’d come home every day and my veranda was just lined with items for donation. This made me realise how inspired we all were and how we were bonding over this experience of being able to give to these beautiful children and their mothers who needed help. One thing led to another and ve years later we’re a registered charity achieving pretty great outcomes.
“I founded MumKIND to achieve something truly good in my own life, something that’s bigger than me or anything else that I’m doing. Something that can help to make the world a better place and luckily for me, my incredible friends join me and help drive MumKIND every day.
We’ll never meet the women we support but together, we are making a difference. We’re surrounded by incredible women with shared values and a shared vision and we’re all growing closer by the day because of it- we’re making an impact on the world.”
Tell us about some of your campaigns, how are you helping Adelaide mothers and families?
We focus on families – women with children. We base everything that we do on supporting these families with some fundamental, practical things but also, some feel good items too. One of our first campaigns asked people to go through their library of books and pass them on to mums and children in need. I thought we’d get 200-300 books; but thousands of books came in. The layers of benefit that a book brings to a family was an easy story to tell – it resonates with everybody. I loved what my husband said, that “a child who may never have owned a book before might receive one of these books, and learn and be inspired and could go on to discover a cure for cancer – they’re being given a better chance to learn and grow and to be inspired about their future.
“Signi cant Smalls” is another campaign we ran in 2018 – it was all about collecting bras and underwear for women and children. We want to give these women things that provide practical assistance but also things that they want, that make them feel good about themselves, to reclaim their identity and restore their hope. Significant Smalls was a bit of both. Imagine if you haven’t had a shower or a clean change of clothes for several months – or if you’d never owned your own (new) underwear.
We wrap everything up with a ribbon and a card, so those who receive our parcels can have the experience of a gift – bows and ribbons and all. Everything we do is done with love and simple gestures like packaging make a huge impact in the way things are received.
How can people get involved and help out?
The best way for people to get involved is to subscribe via our website or message us directly or of course follow us via social media where we share information about our upcoming campaigns.
We’re better together – the more minds and the more hearts that come together, the more goodness we can create and the better we all are as people.
All donations made to MumKIND go directly to the families they are designed to support and each item to someone who specifically needs it.
If you want to be a part of something meaningful, impactful and deeply fulfilling, Kate and the women behind MumKIND are always seeking involvement, input and support. Become part of the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.