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News & Reviews

My Committee experience.

Elwood Toy Library

By Jaime McLennan

I originally joined the Committee in 2015. I was looking for a volunteer opportunity in order to be eligible for Child Care Rebate, and a good friend on the Committee invited me along. 

It's been a really rewarding few years. My first task was organising the toy library's 30th Birthday Party - which felt like a doddle after just organising my wedding. I teamed up with my friend and we loved having excuses to meet up for a playdate and dream up ways for the local kids to have fun. The day itself was fantastic. We had hundreds of people arrive, and it was really rewarding to see so many local families having fun together. 

My next task was to revamp the website. It took a long time to build round having a new baby. But it was also a lifesaver to have a greater purpose beyond sleepless nights and tantrumming toddlers. The Committee and Simon were very understanding and supportive throughout. We're all volunteers after all, and we 'get' the many pressures of family life. Now that it's finished, I like knowing that I helped bring the website into the 21st century, and that when I leave there will be something a lot more user-friendly and cost-effective in place.

As a stay at home mum, I have really valued having the Committee in my life as a 'lifeline' to the adult world and my old professional identity. My background is in marketing, so I find keeping my brain ticking over thinking of ideas for such a good cause really rewarding. I'm also extremely passionate about reducing waste and teaching my kids ethical values, and the toy library ethos fits perfectly with this. 

One of the things I didn't anticipate however was how nice it is to feel I'm contributing to the community. Like many new mums, I have often wished for the fabled 'village' to help raise my child, and being on the Committee feels like a step towards this. They're a lovely bunch of people, and our meetings are very relaxed. I can also highly recommend joining with friends too. It's wonderful having a good excuse to get kidfree 'passouts'. 

This year, I'm excited at what we might do next. It'd be great to throw some more community events. It would also be a great help to have some new committee members to help with the organising. As the Committee is only ever as good as the people on it.