The Community Baby Shower has been a cornerstone event at Grace for at least nine years. I still remember the many times my mother used to volunteer and drag us kids along. They always used to leave a sign-up sheet at the Collective the week before. After a while, I started volunteering on my own and have gone many times since high school. This year we held the Baby Shower in September rather than May. People used to start lining up at one in the morning, eight hours before doors opened. When I got there at eight (an hour early) there were no people lined up. I needn’t have worried. As soon as doors opened, parents flooded in. The majority were moms, many of them pregnant, but there were many fathers there as well. They came in especially handy to lift the heavy things for their wives.
This year I helped in the check-out station. The check-out station is where the volunteers pack up the new belongings in bags and boxes and helped carry items to the parent’s cars. It was in these moments that I was able to have many conversations with the moms and my fellow volunteers. While I patiently waited for items to be loaded in bags or cars in just the right way, I was able to say “God Bless” before rushing off to help the next couple. If there was any doubt that the church cared about them, it was totally erased that day. And this year, our donations skyrocketed. With World Vision fully occupied providing for the victims of the recent severe natural disasters, there was some concern that we would run out of supplies. Once again, God provided. We served dozens of families and never ran out. God is good. His provision shouldn’t surprise us as often as it does.
Afterward, I was able to interview one of the volunteers. Here’s what she had to say:
“One of my favorite parts of the community baby shower is being a personal shopper. You get to connect with the mom’s and families, listening to their stories. Honestly just laughing with the moms and chasing after kids is such a powerful experience. One mom needed coats for her two kids, who didn’t have anything to keep them warm through the winter, we were able to find exactly what she needed. It was just awesome to see her face light up, the joy that comes from something that a lot of people take for granted. What really stood out to me was the moms who volunteered. Some of them had come to the baby shower needing clothes or a crib and had their needs met. Now they wanted to help met the needs of other moms who are in the same situation they use to be, which I think is pretty incredible. Jesus said to take care of those who are forgotten by the world and that’s exactly what the community baby shower does!” – Sarah