By Stephen Smoot
In times past, the arrival of a baby served as an event that brought together the new parents’ extended family and friends. People gathered to provide needed supplies, helpful gifts, and dispense wisdom on how to be the best parent one could be.
Today, with families scattered far and wide, not every expecting parent enjoys that kind of support system. Brand new parents, especially, sometimes lack that source of advice or extra help that can make all the difference.
As part of Warriors’ Chapel’s yearly drive to “show love to the community,” the church has chosen to put together a Community Baby Shower on Feb 10. It will take place between 11 AM and 2 PM at Warriors’ Chapel. All are welcome to participate.
According to organizer Ashley Dytzel, the idea sprang from the fact that “we have a lot of new moms in the church, many of them with littles.” Each year, the church holds a community resource event in the second month of the year, but in 2024, they plan to address more specific needs.
The Community Baby Shower will work to assist both parents with children under 12 months and also those who are expecting. Along with the availability of items, such as free diapers, wipes, clothes up to 12 months, furniture, and more, there will also be volunteers there to give advice.
As of now, this includes a financial advisor and a lactation consultant.
The first 20 to register, which can be done by texting BABY to (304) 672-2011, get door prizes. Light refreshments will also be included. The church will also raffle off a high chair.
“Other than the hospital,” Dytzel said, “there’s not a lot of places to get information. This puts it out there for people who are planning. There’s a lot of new moms who need information. It’s nice to have a place to talk.
That is the other major purpose of the shower, “just loving on people,” Dytzell explained, adding “talking to them about what they’re going through.” Many times, parents just need someone to listen to their stresses and struggles.
Though planned, the organizers continue to canvass the community to find donations so as to assist as many parents as possible. Those with items to donate can drop them off at the church ramp at any time.
Dytzell shared her family’s personal reasons for being a part of the drive. “My husband and I are younger,” she said, adding that “we have three little ones who are younger. I think we can relate pretty well.”
She also stated that area churches work in tandem to spread out community assistance events through the year, so none compete with each other and people can have broader access to help. “It’s nice. We get to focus on each season. We plan to make it bigger and bigger each year.”
Holding community support and service events also helps the church to fulfill its overall mission, “being the hands and feet of Jesus. The Bible teaches us to help those in need.”
“That’s our mission. To help those who are broken and in need.”