MARYVILLE, Mo. — Fifteen new and expectant mothers attended the fourth annual Community Baby Shower at the Laura Street Baptist Church on June 25.

The event was open to new mothers in Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway and Worth counties who had registered with Community Services Inc., said Carla Wetzel, operations director. This year, mothers from every county except Atchison signed up for the event.

The annual Community Baby Shower started four years ago when Dana Leonard, senior community relations coordinator for Home State Health, encouraged Community Services to create one.

In the past, Leonard had worked with Community Services on back-to-school fairs and flood relief. Leonard told Community Services about the community baby showers she had attended in her service area, and Community Services decided to hold one for northwest Missouri.

“The feedback has been great,” Wetzel noted. “The moms appreciate the goodies they get as well as the information that is handed out.”

For the first two years of its existence, the Community Baby Shower was held inside.

Last year, the pandemic caused the baby shower to become a drive-thru event in September and that worked well, planners noted afterward. So well in fact, they planned to hold it again outside this year.

However, due to potential inclement weather, the event was moved inside this year.

The baby shower offered booths that provided various useful items and information.

Community Services provided items including diapers and diaper bags, wipes and onesies at the event.

“It is always great to watch the faces of the moms as they gather their goodies to leave,” Wetzel said. “It is very heartwarming to watch the faces of the young mothers.”

Community Services provides assistance to the disabled, the elderly and those with low income. Some of the available services include Section 8 Housing vouchers, Backpack Buddies, United Way, Meal with Class, Head Start and utility/energy assistance.

At the baby shower, Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville supplied information on using formula, breastfeeding and weening.

The Nodaway County Health Department handed out tote bags filled with goodies. The health department offers assistance to low-income women with infants and children. It provides children with supplemental nutrition until they are five years old and aids mothers with breastfeeding support. The department also assists parents in obtaining immunization and birth certificates for their child.

Promise 1000 attended the event in partnership with Easterseals Midwest. The program is a partnership of United Way of Greater Kansas City, Children’s Mercy Kansas City and the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Promise 1000 focuses on the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. It aids families by funding home visit programs and providing supports for mothers who experience postpartum depression and domestic violence.

Because Easterseals funds home visits, Promise 1000 provides the program with monetary support.

Easterseals Midwest seeks to strengthen family units through strengthening parenting skills, providing development screenings, and performing safe sleep checks. Postpartum depression and partner violence screenings are among other services Easterseals provides. The program assists parents during prenatal development and continues to provide support until the child is 3 years old. Easterseals services approximately 50 families in northwest Missouri.

Home State Health provides assistance to 42 counties across Missouri. The program provides checks on mothers and babies every week. It also supplies things such as dinners for 30 days after a child’s birth, belly bands and electronic breast pumps.

For more information, call Community Services Inc. at 660-582-3113.

To learn more about Home State Health, call 1-855-694-4663 or visit www.homestatehealth.com/.

For more information on Easterseals Midwest, contact Amy Gorton, program manager, at 816-335-4572 or amy.gorton@esmw.org. Information is also available at www.promise1000.org/.

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