5 September 2019
Through a global charitable initiative, Buggies for Good, award-winning Kiwi nursery brands, phil&teds and Mountain Buggy, have rehomed over 500 juvenile products, to families and organisations in need. Launched in 2009, the company is celebrating 10 years of helping others.
Company chief executive, Campbell Gower, says “charity work is an important part of what we do, and have done for the past 20 years. Our Buggies for Good programme is all about giving back - helping deserving families, communities and organisations to keep on, keepin' on.”
Along with the company’s sample product and seconds stock, the organisation also collects pre-loved phil&teds and Mountain Buggies from giving parents around the world. All are given a warrant of fitness to ensure they’re in good working order, before being donated back into the community.
“Since the programme’s launch, families and organisations - including Australian children’s hospice - Bear Cottage, an orphanage in South Africa, and New Zealand's Ronald McDonald House - are now able to support their cause more easily.
“From getting disabled kids in Laos to school to helping deal with post-quake Christchurch, we’ve been amazed to see the reach and benefit of our work. It truly makes a difference to the lives of people in the world,” he says. “We’re genuinely proud of this.”
In 2018, the life of a sick boy and his mother were drastically improved thanks to a Buggies for Good donation.
“We heard about Wisdom, a seven year old boy living in Malawi who suffers from encephalitis. His mother would carry him long distances, across rough terrain, to school and back each day. We immediately wanted to help.”
Within a week, a donated Mountain Buggy terrain had arrived at one of the company’s UK retailers, ready to be delivered by a group of volunteers visiting Malawi as part of a summer programme.
“The durability and robust nature of our designs means families can often use a buggy as a mode of transport for an older child as opposed to your traditional wheelchair.
“In this case, the donated buggy will not only benefit the mother’s wellbeing, but also Wisdom’s development as he gains ‘easier’ access to schooling,” Gower says.
“Buggies for Good aims to make it ‘easier’ for kids to get a better start. That can take many forms, with access to education being one of them. Previously, we’ve donated buggies to impoverished rural Thai kids who, because they can’t walk to school, can’t get an education.
“As a company that values learning, we want to help children like Wisdom. Access to education can seem so easy to us, but not for so many others. Stories like Wisdom’s are so heartwarming, yet at the same time, are incredibly heartbreaking.”
The idea of Buggies for Good was based on an airline initiative, where air crew asked passengers to donate change to support good causes.
“It was on a flight when I suddenly thought we should be doing this. There’s plenty of love and life left in our products, even after three or more kids. So, we created Buggies for Good - a programme that offers real help for parents and caregivers, and is authentic to us,” Gower says.
“It just grew from there! Consumers began contacting us soon after, asking if they could donate their old phil&teds or Mountain Buggy to the cause. Together, it became our way of giving back to the community.”
The international buggy company wants to do more.
Gower says “if you’ve got one of our buggies that you want to give the push, or know of an organisation or family that we can help, email [email protected]”