The Cape and Islands United Way’s annual Community Baby Shower was done a bit differently this year, due to the pandemic. In past years, new and expectant mothers have gathered together as they are given essential supplies and resources to provide them with a stronger start to parenthood.
Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the United Way did not hold a public event this year, but baby supplies and educational materials were hand-delivered to families during the week of July 27. A total of 46 new moms and families received a care box of supplies (including items such as clothing, bibs, books, wipes and bottles), a case of diapers and a handmade blanket from A Baby Center. Deliveries made across the Cape by volunteers and staff, who took special precautions in accordance with public health guidance to limit the number of people who interacted with the items.
Based on feedback from last year, the educational materials and community resources delivered to each family included information on housing, play groups and other family resources. Also new this year was a handmade cotton mask and hand sanitizer for each mom.
Four years ago, the Cape and Islands United Way formed a multidisciplinary team of local experts to brainstorm how to “get upstream” of the challenges communities are facing, such as substance abuse, mental health, food insecurity, financial instability and an adequate work force, by addressing the needs of our youngest children.
“Challenges of poverty and achievement are at the forefront for families living on Cape Cod,” said Cape and Islands United Way Executive Director Mark Skala. “Thirteen percent of children live in poverty, and many more are suffering from emotional poverty. The Community Baby Shower is one way our community is coming together to help address these needs.”
To learn more about how the United Way continues to serve the community, contact Skala at firstname.lastname@example.org or Beth Bowman at email@example.com.