MANSFIELD – Richland County agencies around the area have joined forces to help serve pregnant women in the community with a Drive-Thru Community Baby Shower.
The event, which takes place on Oct. 23, encourages pregnant women to come out for a free, safe and socially distanced event. Attendees should arrive in cars where they will stay for the duration of the event.
Over 19 agencies that support young women and children will occupy tents that attendees will drive through to receive pamphlets of general information and about the agencies, along with supplies for newborns and care items for moms.
“We’re hoping they leave with a car full of stuff,” said Teresa Alt, executive director of the Richland County Youth and Family Council.
After registering online, attendees will automatically be entered into a raffle. They will have the chance to receive special prizes such as cribs and mattresses, a baby monitoring system, high chair, ExerSaucer, strollers, a baby swing and car seats.
October is Safe Sleep and SIDS Awareness Month. Approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related infant deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and SIDS disproportionately impact families of color, especially Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and low-income families.
A few of the agencies that will be involved with the event to provide vital information and giveaways include Job and Family Services, Crossroads Church, Third Street Family Health Services, NC State/OSU-M Child Development Center, Mansfield Richland County Public Library, YWCA – child care resource and referral agency, Richland Pregnancy Services, Children Services Board and Cornerstone OB/GYN.
Due to COVID-19, a lot of pregnant moms are unable to socialize and be together with friends and family. Alt wants the Community Baby Shower to bring moms together so that they know they’re not alone. There are currently only 78 women registered but up to 300 pregnant mothers can register.
“I think it's just difficult because it's not a typical time,” Alt said. “(Moms) don’t want to be exposed to anything because of their baby, which is perfectly understandable, but they also need support and socialization. They need to have the information, and they need to know that people care genuinely care.”
“We just want them to know that we have resources and we want to help support them. And we know it's a difficult time. Folks are anxious, everybody's anxious. But there are still lots of resources, and they can still take care of themselves and gather some of these resources and maybe get a little bit pampered.”
The Drive-Thru Community Baby Shower will take place on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1188 Park Avenue West. Register online by Oct. 21.
For more information or travel assistance, reach out to Alt at 419-774-5442 or by email at Teresa.firstname.lastname@example.org.