Boxes of treasure for Pirie mums

GIFT OF GIVING: Rikki Cooke, founder of Treasure Boxes sits with some of the items being donated to Port Pirie.
GIFT OF GIVING: Rikki Cooke, founder of Treasure Boxes sits with some of the items being donated to Port Pirie.

On a road trip across regional South Australia, Rikki Cooke and her team from Treasure Boxes stopped in Port Pirie on Monday to drop off some well-needed baby essentials. 

The non-for-profit organisation started just over three years ago looks to fill the gaps for women and families bringing babies into the world who aren't able to afford the essentials. 

Rikki Cooke, the founder says that what they are doing is life changing because in many cases people are sacrificing money for food and bills to buy these must-haves. 

"It is life changing to a degree, some of the packs we provide are up to $2,000 to $3,000 worth of goods. Not only are we providing these goods to reduce financial hardship so they don't have to go and spend their money on those things, they can actually pay for food, rent and bills," she explained. 

In Port Pirie, Treasure Boxes hope to work with Uniting Country South Australia, which would create a direct partnership with those support workers who work with the disadvantaged.

Those sponsorships and partnerships are really important to us to make sure we make as big as an impact as we can and we want to keep increasing that impact as much as we can.

Rikki Cooke

Working in regional areas is quite new for the charity and Rikki explains it came by through coincidence after a request by an Aboriginal community near Ceduna. 

"We had a discussion with them and realised that there are a lot of communities out here, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal that need assistance. We are actually going to talk to both support agencies that cover both areas.

"It has always been something we have wanted to achieve when we first started but we wanted to keep it local to start with and develop procedures and make sure we knew what we were doing but it has always been one of our goals to head out to regional where we know there is lots of disadvantage and people who need help," Rikki explained. 

From here, Treasure Boxes wants to expand out towards the APY Lands and possibly the Northern Territory, but to do they would like to acquire additional partnerships and donations. 

Rikki explains that they accept anything from cots, highchairs, pushers, nappies, clothing, breast pumps, bottles, blankets- anything that is required for a child up until the age of 17-years-old. 

At the moment, all donations are coming from metro Adelaide areas and they would love to create new relationships to support the regions. 

"We accept all kinds of help whether it is volunteer, donations, support services that want to get involved, organisations, we have lots of fantastic partnerships."

By providing these items to families, they have an ease of mind knowing that babies are being kept safe. 

Treasure Boxes was created after Rikki worked with children who came into care, with nothing but the clothes on their backs and she wanted to make a difference to their lives.