Baby Shower on Board
Residents of Des Plaines might have been surprised recently to see a caravan of about a dozen cars driven by smiling women, some with balloons and stuffed animals in tow. There was no need to be alarmed, though. It was just a mobile baby shower for two of the moms in the Des Plaines Salvation Army women’s ministry. They held a similar event for another mom in their community soon after.
“A group from our women’s ministry, inspired by Envoy Florinelvi Giraldo, were not going to let the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing keep them from throwing a baby shower for our mothers,” said Major Tina Stasiuc, corps officer at The Salvation Army Des Plaines Corps Community Center.
For the first shower, Maria Montesinos and Elizabeth Carrillo stood on their respective front porches with their pregnant bellies, face masks, and family members, waving at all their friends slowly driving by. On the caravan’s first round, the women shared words of encouragement with the expectant moms.
“We gave them our love and support from a safe distance,” said Envoy Florinelvi (Ody), who got the idea for the event by watching Facebook posts from people celebrating birthdays with drive-by parties. She figured, why not try this for a baby shower?
After the line of cars made the initial well-wishing round at the homes of both moms, they made a second round to drop off gifts for the moms-to-be to open later in the safety of their homes. “It was such a great new way to experience fellowship,” Major Tina said.
Maria, then pregnant with her first child, appreciated the support. “It’s very scary,” she said of being pregnant during a pandemic. “I felt like a lot was taken away from me. Not seeing people, it’s hard.” She appreciated that the group found a way to be present despite social distancing. “It definitely showed they cared,” she said. And while she appreciated the gifts these church friends brought, she said the encouraging words and Bible verses they wrote in their cards to her meant the most.
After the success of the first shower, the group held another shower for Mandy Davis. Her son was due any day, so they celebrated with her family a little differently. A couple of the church leaders visited her home with gifts, decorations, and prayers of blessing for baby Jaxson. “Mandy was very glad and surprised to receive these visitors,” said Major Tina. Jaxson was born four days later.
“It has definitely been hard not being able to go to church and see my family,” Mandy said. “But, it is great knowing that everyone is there for me when I need something, especially when it's questions about trying to raise two boys that are 18 months apart the best way I can.”
Though the baby showers were unconventional, the gifts were the usual items all new moms need: clothes, toys, diapers, cribs, bouncy chairs. Mandy has already found the gifts helpful. Her son, Jaxson, now a month old, is nearly 10 pounds and already loves to eat. He’s since been joined in the Des Plaines Salvation Army community by Maria’s son, Millan, and Elizabeth’s daughter, Luz Jasmin.
Major Tina said that she and Envoy Ody are excited to welcome these new members of their community, adding, “We already love them all and are praying for God to give the new babies his blessing and protection.”
Learn about all the ways The Salvation Army is responding to the coronavirus – as well as how you can help – at salarmychicago.org/coronavirus.
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For tax purposes: The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division EIN is 36-2167910.