BOSTON — Parenthood can be overwhelming for anyone. Whether they are studying nutrition, developmental milestones, or safe sleep, new parents have a lot to learn. What’s worse, much of the information can appear contradictory. That’s where the community—supportive friends, family, and caring neighbors— comes in.
United Way’s Community Baby Shower connects new and expectant parents experiencing economic hardship with maternal and early childhood education and resources. Hosted by Women United and put on with the help of 148 volunteers, over 250 new and expectant parents, along with 138 of their guests and 229 kids joined United Way for an evening filled with food, fun, laughter, games, resources and gifts.
“Every new parent deserves to celebrate the children they are bringing into the world,” said Caroline Murphy, Group HR Manager at Enterprise Holdings and volunteer chair of Women United, United Way’s women’s leadership group that hosts the event. “It is in that spirit that we host our annual community celebration to pamper new and expecting parents and ensure they receive the resources and support to give their children the best possible start in life.”
Each family received a “Baby Basics” box, which included diapers, wipes, travel changing pad, diaper cream, baby wash, baby lotion, a baby towel and washcloth set, nail clipper, onesies, bibs and burp cloths, socks, rattle and teething toys, developmental toys, swaddle blankets, and pacifiers.
Nearly 30 community-based and government resources were on hand to provide information and services, including ABCD/Head Start, Boston Area Healthy Families (MSPCC of Eliot), Boston Basics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center Healthnet Plan, Boston Office of Housing Stability, Boston Police Department, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Public Library, Boston Public Schools: Countdown to Kindergarten, Boys Girls Clubs Dorchester, Brigham & Women: STEPS Young Parents Program, Cambridge Family & Children’s Service, Children’s Trust, Department of Transitional Assistance, Dimock Center, Family Nurturing Center, Fathers’ Uplift, Harbor Health Services, Jeremiah Program, La Alianza Hispana, Lannie’s Neighborhood, Mattapan Family Engagement Network, Nurtury, WIC, Samaritans, Sitters Without Borders, Smart From the Start, Thom Early Intervention, Tufts Health Plan, Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment, and Vital Village (Boston Breastfeeding Coalition).
More than 1,000 families have attended United Way’s Community Baby Shower since the first one was held at Roxbury’s Hibernian Hall in 2011. This year’s sponsors of United Way’s Community Baby Shower include Falcon Investments, Wegmans, United Way’s Women United, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, Deloitte, John Hancock, Tufts Health Plan, Brown Brothers Harriman and General Electric. # # #