Hospital staff and community members stock ‘give and take’ cupboard for growing families

Island Health staff and members of the Campbell River community are supporting a program that helps expectant families prepare for the arrival of their babies by providing easy access to new and gently used infant and maternity clothing and supplies.

The donation cupboard in the Campbell River Maternity Clinic, located in the Wellness Centre of the Campbell River Campus of the North Island Hospital, is run by Carole Kommnick, the clinic’s Medical Office Assistant. The pantry-style cupboard, located in the small clinic waiting area, is filled with neatly folded baby clothes, maternity clothing, nursing and infant supplies that families can look at before and after their appointments with the clinic’s doctors. “I just leave it open so they can see what’s there,” said Kommnick.

Some families are shy about taking items from the cupboard, but Kommnick encourages everyone to use it. “They can always pay it forward and bring it back when they’re done with it.”

Some of the most popular items are maternity clothing and nursing bras in good condition, said Kommnick, adding that they accept baby clothes from newborn to nine months, as well as supplies like leftover diapers and unopened baby toiletries.

Kommnick explained that the cupboard can be a particularly welcome resource for families who end up in hospital unexpectedly. “People sometimes have to come to Campbell River from the North Island before they were planning to and may have nothing with them.”

Kommnick keeps the cupboard stocked by collecting donations from hospital staff and members of the community. She’ll even arrange to pick up items from people who would like to donate but have transportation challenges. Kommnick enjoys running the clothing cupboard and working with families who visit the maternity clinic. “I can’t get a lot of work done during clinic because I like to make sure and talk with people,” she said, laughing.

Donations are always welcome, but storage space at the clinic is very limited. Anyone who would like to make a donation is asked to contact Kommnick via email at

VIDEO: Maternity Clinic Give & Take Cupboard

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Dominic Abassi