Charitable Choices: Janet Sadowski of Basically Babies

At times the world feels incredibly difficult to live in, and Basically Babies in Calgary aims to help alleviate some of those difficulties. They work to meet the needs of new families by providing a year’s worth of newborn clothing for families in extreme need. They desire to be a bright spot in what could be an incredibly challenging time. We caught up with board member and volunteer Janet Sadowski to find out more.

Basically Babies

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

Basically Babies is a registered charity that works to provide for the basic outfitting needs of newborn babies born to families in extreme need in the greater Calgary and Edmonton area. Basically Babies offers the gift of a complete first-year baby wardrobe and related baby supplies for these infants. We call this beautiful colour-coordinated layered package of baby supplies a “layette.” It contains baby clothing, outerwear, blankets, toys, storybooks, sleepers, undershirts, footwear and other baby essentials.

What problem does it aim to solve?

There is an ever-growing need in our communities and we seek to help families living in extreme need situations who have newborn babies. Each Basically Babies layette is intended to communicate worth, value, respect and dignity to each family who receives it while providing the practical gift of a complete year’s worth of clothing needs for their newborn baby. We take great pride and care in selecting each and every item that goes into the layette.

When did you start/join it?

Basically Babies started as a small grassroots organization in 1994. I joined the dedicated group of young moms within the first year.

What made you want to get involved?

As young moms with plenty of support from family and friends and more baby gifts than we knew what to do with, we all saw the need to share our abundance with those who might be struggling to provide for their own newborns.

What was the situation like when you started?

We probably had no idea how great the need was in our community when we started 30 years ago, but through our work and our growing relationships with healthcare and non-profit agencies, we have seen that the need is huge, and growing bigger every year.

How has it changed since?

From our beginnings when we prepared 10 to 20 layettes per year to the present when we are providing hundreds of our first-year wardrobes to families all over the greater Calgary and Edmonton regions, the need for our service has continued to grow. But we are thankful that we can offer a simple yet beautiful gift to these families at a time when they are dealing with so many stresses.

Basically Babies

What more needs to be done?

We currently partner with over 100 local partner organizations in Calgary and Edmonton and help close to one thousand local families in need each year. We hope to continue expanding our reach in Alberta communities, so that we can grow our layette program.

As people learn about our work, we constantly need support – in the form of donations of baby items, financial support and volunteer involvement to keep doing this meaningful work.

How can our readers help?

There are so many ways the community can make an impact. To support Basically Babies work in Calgary you can donate your time as a volunteer, donate dollars to support our layette program, or donate good quality, gently used or new baby clothes.

Do you have any events coming up?

This spring, Basically Babies Mother’s Day Brunch & Silent Auction will bring together over 100 guests to raise much-needed funds to support the delivery of layettes to hundreds of families in extreme need within the next year. Each year we have a different and unique theme for the event; our theme this year is “Snapshots & Snippets”. The event will be hosted on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club in Calgary. Please email us or call 780.989.0180 for tickets and information!

Where can we follow you?

You can follow Basically Babies on Facebook and Instagram. Through our website you can learn more about the impact Basically Babies makes in the local community, getting involved as a volunteer, and how you can make a difference by donating to our layette program.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

We love the work of Youth Central and the support they provide to Calgary’s youth in programs and volunteer opportunities. We would be honoured to pay it forward to their great work.


About Demian Vernieri 561 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.