Merrimack Valley Community Baby Shower Resources

Thom Early Intervention

Questions or concerns about your child’s development? Early Intervention programs throughout Merrimack Valley are here to support your child’s development. Search here for your town:


Liz Murphy Open Hand Pantry

The Liz Murphy Open Hand Pantry of St. James and St. John the Baptist Catholic Parishes’ focuses on providing our clients the basic necessities of life by providing groceries to those in need. To meet this objective our Pantry distributes groceries, which include frozen meats, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as canned goods, bread, cereal, eggs and milk and toiletries every Tuesday from 4:00 – 7:00 PM, located in the basement of the Unitarian Church at 16 Ashland Street, Haverhill, MA. Our mission is to prevent and/or eliminate the risk of hunger and food insecurity to our target populations.

Our Pantry’s target population is 100% underemployed, extremely low-income and elderly citizens of our community. Income level is measured and recorded during the interview and documentation process in which all clients participate upon entry into the program.

We provide referrals and information about services offered by other local area agencies such as those that help to combat homelessness, provide clothes, fuel assistance and contact with PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly).

North Shore YMCA

The YMCA of the North Shore is a coalition of seven Ys north of Boston (Haverhill, Salem, Beverly, Ipswich, Gloucester, Marblehead, and Plaistow, NH) with a mission to welcome all – regardless of age, income, or ability — as we strengthen our community through programming for Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. We are the largest provider of child care services on the North Shore, serving over 2,500 children at 10 Early Learning Centers and 31 School Age programs annually. We aim to nurture the potential of every child and teen, through high-quality Early Education, After-School, Summer Camp, and Child Care programming; Summer Learning Loss Prevention programs; theatre and creative arts; competitive cheerleading, gymnastics, and swim teams; Water Wise adaptive swim programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder; a YMCA Academic Achievement Center; inclusive school-to-career, service learning, and leadership opportunities; an evidence-based drug abuse prevention initiative; and a youth healthy weight program, among other services and initiatives. Follow your closest center on Facebook or check our website for upcoming events.

YMCA of Northeastern Massachusetts

The Early Learning Center (ELC) at the YMCA of Northeastern Massachusetts serves 95 children ages 8 weeks to 5 years and includes an award-winning pre-school program recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Center of Excellence for its strong, literacy-based curriculum. For the past 5 years, 100% of children graduating from the ELC have tested at or above state kindergarten readiness standards, which is the primary indicator of educational success. Our School-age program serves 92 children that we transport to our program from their school. We operate year-round and love having our children in our building. We make full use of community resources, including the nearby public library, parks and play spaces, to provide children with a well-rounded, experiential program. In addition, every child in our pre-school program receives swimming and water safety lessons in our Olympic-size pool and our school-agers use it for recreational swim. This program is licensed by the MA State Department of Early Education and Care and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Subsidies are available for income-eligible families.

Merrimack Valley Food Bank

The mission of the Merrimack Valley Food Bank is to provide adequate nutrition and freedom from hunger. For the most part, we do not serve individuals and families directly, but we provide the food to many of the food pantries and meal programs that do. Information about places families can go to receive food throughout the region is available here. Congratulations to all of the new parents!


Supporting children and family members at risk for suicide can be difficult for a number of reasons. Samaritans provide a number of resources to help through difficult times, including a 24-hour helpline that anyone can call or text for any reason. Samaritans’ also provides invaluable suicide prevention education, because knowing what to say to family members who are struggling can be incredibly difficult. Find out more by visiting, or by emailing Kendra McDonald, Manager for Community Education and Outreach at

Healthy Baby Essentials

Healthy Baby Essentials is a local company dedicated to getting new and expectant mothers the Right breast pump, at the right time, for the right price ($0). They offer a variety of breast pumps to meet your needs, work with your Insurance company to verify your options, and ship to your home for free! Simply complete the referral form, take a picture and submit it to, call 1-888-495-7491 or log into and submit an inquiry. They will contact your OB doctor on your behalf for a prescription and get you a pump around 30 weeks if approved.

Greater Lawrence Community Action Council

Greater Lawrence Community Action Council has been helping expecting and new moms for over 40 years by providing WIC services and other programs. WIC improves the health of expecting and new moms by providing healthy food, referrals to services and nutrition and breastfeeding education. Breastfeeding support and promotion is provided at GLCAC WIC by trained and certified lactation staff. Currently, our services are available by phone and through helpful on-line resources.

Department of Transitional Assistance

The Department of Transitional Assistance assists and empowers low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, improve their quality of life, and achieve long term economic self-sufficiency. DTA serves one in nine residents of the Commonwealth with direct economic assistance (cash benefits) and food assistance (SNAP benefits), as well as workforce training opportunities. For more information, click here.

The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that persons eligible for SNAP will make healthy food and lifestyle choices and increase their physical activity. It teaches people to shop and cook healthy meals, learn how to stretch their food dollars and works with partners to make the healthy choice the easy choice. For recipes, tips on staying healthy, food resources and ways to stay physically active click here.

Community Teamwork Inc

The Early Head Start Home-Based Program at Community Teamwork serves low-income pregnant women and children up to the age of 3 years. We support moms-to-be with preparing for the baby’s arrival and with their individual health needs, as well as by providing necessary resources and referrals. Once the baby arrives, we support the parent-child relationship by helping parents to understand and promote their child’s healthy development and education using a research-based, strengths-based curriculum. Home visits occur once per week for 90 minutes and we also provide socialization groups twice per month in a classroom at one of our center-based sites. The Early Head Start Home Based Program has a holistic approach to serving families by creating goals and addressing needs in all service areas, such as, education, financial, health, mental health, nutrition and community involvement. While you support your child, your Home Visitor supports you. By working together, you give your child a good start on the path to success in school and in life. Interested families can contact Tracy Looney at 978-905-7405.

Community Teamwork’s CFCE (Coordinated Family and Community Engagement) Program serves families with children birth through age 8 in the towns of Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro and Wilmington. The CFCE provides linkages to services, resources and referrals, venues for families to connect through educational enrichment, literacy programming, playgroups and parent education.

With COVID-19, CTI’s CFCE has changed the way we are providing services. A daily educational and enrichment activity is posted on our social media outlets and sent to over 800 families via email. Facilitators are offering virtual programming that has included but not limited to story reading, music and movement classes and teaching Baby Sign. CFCE Coordinators have created an online resource guide for families on ways to access services not only related to COVID-19 but also those that focus on child development and programs that area offered in each community. Our CFCE is creating online parent support ZOOM meetings, working on ways to offer parent education workshops and virtual playgroups. CTI’s CFCE has had to think out of the box but isn’t letting the current pandemic stop us from delivering programs and supporting our families. Interested families can call 978-654-5704.


Community libraries are a great resource, not just for borrowing books, but for programs like storytimes and sing-a-longs for young children. Although libraries are closed due to COVID-19, many of them have taken their programs online! Below are a few local libraries’ Facebook pages. If you don’t see your town here, search for the library on Facebook, or find their website from this Merrimack Valley Library Consortium website and look for their kids’ programming. Click here.

Breastfeeding resources

Planning to breastfeed your baby? Want to ask questions or get help?

Massachusetts WIC has a new Facebook page focused on breastfeeding promotion where you can connect with resources, support groups and professionals to answer all your breastfeeding-related questions!

Family Services of Merrimack Valley

Babies are amazing and can also be challenging. Do you want support in being the best parent you can for your baby?

Family Services of Merrimack Valley provides parent support programming, including workshops, community events, fatherhood programs, and parents for young programs. Their Family Resource Center also provides case management and parenting classes. Check out their website for more information:

Haverhill YMCA

Haverhill YMCA provides high quality, affordable infant, toddler, preschool, and school age care, memberships and wellness programs, with flexible membership pricing for adults and families. The Haverhill YMCA is for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Please email Tracy Fuller for more information at website is

Child Development & ASQ

Wondering about your child’s development? Curious if they are meeting milestones for their age or what milestones come next? Check out the Milestones Checklists on the Massachusetts Act Early website and ask your pediatrician or community provider about the ASQ!