Salvation Army of Siouxland’s “Baby Blessings” Event Helps Young Mothers-to-Be
Planning for the arrival of a baby is often a time of excitement, anticipation and joy, but it can also be a time fraught with anxiety and stress -- especially for young mothers who have little support and limited resources.
Staff at The Salvation Army of Siouxland recently hosted a baby shower at the corps with exactly these moms in mind.
“We had plenty of baby items left over from donations we received at Christmas, so we thought, why not put them to good use?” said Valerie Trudell, a caseworker for The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope program, which provides support and resources for families with children ages 18 and younger. “Some of these young moms have absolutely no family support, and in many cases the father isn’t in the picture, so this was a chance for them to celebrate, receive encouragement and get a lot of what they will need for the baby.”
Seventeen young moms-to-be were showered with baby gifts – including diapers, formula, bottles, clothes, toys and other items – at the “Baby Blessings” event on April 29. Each guest left with 10 gifts, plus gift cards to local businesses and at least one larger item, such as a car seat or pack-and-play.
“We gave away about $900 in gift cards alone,” said Trudell. “The moms were so grateful. It was really touching.”
In addition to enjoying lunch, traditional baby shower games and fellowship, guests also had the opportunity to connect with staff from local agencies, including the Siouxland District Health Department, the Siouxland WIC program, Mary’s Choice Pregnancy Resource Center, the Community Action Agency of Siouxland, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and The Salvation Army of Siouxland’s Pathway of Hope program.
“We wanted to let moms know that there are resources in the community available to them,” said Trudell. “We want them to know that they aren’t alone.”
Trudell was pleased with the April event and is already planning to host another shower later this summer. “Now that COVID-19 restrictions are loosening, we hope to be able to spread the word further and invite even more moms to the next shower,” she said.
For more information about The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope program in Nebraska, South Dakota and western Iowa, please contact Mary Sivels, The Salvation Army Western Division Pathway of Hope coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.