The Mildura Affordable Wardrobe

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Mildura is quite an isolated area where a number of individuals are facing economic hardships, particularly in light of the cost-of-living crisis. But since February 2023, the Mums At The Table group in Mildura have taken the initiative to launch several service activities to provide assistance and support for mums doing it tough in their community. These opportunities have been developed to reach all demographics of mums, tailoring different experiences for different parts of the community. 

One of the fundamental initiatives which was started up by Larissa Forbes-Wilson was the Affordable Wardrobe. The Affordable Wardrobe is a community and outreach-oriented service which operates to provide high-quality, gently used second-hand clothing to mums in the community who cannot afford good-quality children’s clothing.

Larissa began this project from her own passion for op-shopping. She grew up with a love for finding treasures in second-hand stores and was always amazed at the good quality clothes she would be able to find. Seeing the impact of the rising cost of living on her community, Larissa wanted to put her skills to good use. She wanted to help families in her community who were struggling financially without singling them out, and developed the Affordable Wardrobe as a place where mums can visit and receive needed children’s clothes. 

All the clothes provided to the Affordable Wardrobe through Larissa and other donors are brought by word of mouth and are washed and sorted. The mums involved in this project are generous as there is never a shortage of clothing to choose from! Mums from the community can visit and select good quality clothing for their children for free or for a donation, if they feel impressed to give. 

The Affordable Wardrobe typically operates on Mondays, 9:30am-11am, at the Mildura Seventh-day Adventist church hall. It runs while their Mums At The Table playgroup is happening, so children are able to play while their mums take some time out to “shop”. The Affordable Wardrobe is open to everyone in need, and news about it has mostly spread by word of mouth across the community.

It has also received a great response from the community. On their first opening, around 25 mums from the playgroup attended, with five from the community. The second time they ran the event, more than 30 mums from the community attended. 

As Larissa said, ”Mums are just so happy to be able to pick high-quality clothing . . . so many just can’t believe the generosity of others.”

One young mum who was caring for two children of her own, as well as two of her friends’ young infants, had nothing to dress the children in. Larissa invited her to the Affordable Wardrobe where she was able to fill up two big shopping bags with baby clothes, swimmers, sleep suits and shoes. ”She was absolutely blown away and so very appreciative,” reflected Larissa. This mum told Larissa a few days later that the infants had been having the best sleeps since receiving the sleeping suits. She has since been attending the Mums At The Table playgroup on a regular basis. 

This initiative recognised a need in their community and did something about it, serving those around them in a kind, thoughtful and practical way—shining the loving heart of Jesus on others through action.

Churches or individuals interested in being part of the Mums At The Table ministry can find out more at

Olivia Fairfax is an assistant editor at Adventist Record.

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