This year’s Women United Community Baby Shower was something to remember.
“Being a mom myself, I can’t imagine the hardship that some of these women go through. It’s just so expensive raising a child,” said Julie Bearup, Chair of Women United’s Community Connections. “That’s why we’re excited that the baby shower has continued to grow each year.”
This year was no exception. Approximately $19,000 of in-kind donations were collected, including 360 boxes of diapers, 100 packages of wipes, and 105 blankets for families with new babies and toddlers. Items were sorted a few days later and delivered by volunteers to The Gathering Place, Family Tree, A Precious Child, The Mountain Resource Center, Florence Crittenton, and Mile High United Way’s Bridging the Gap program.
A highlight of the day was hearing from Anahi Garcia. Before Anahi spoke, Julie shared some of the challenges young families face and why the Community Baby Shower is such an important event for Women United to host.
“It costs a family about $1,000 a year to buy a supply of average-priced diapers for one child. For someone who works a full-time minimum-wage job, making just over $15,000 a year, that’s a huge expense.”
When Anahi took the microphone she shared her journey and the personal struggle her own family went through. “We decided to take a risk and put a deposit down on an apartment that was out of our budget, but it was in a good neighborhood for our son. We didn’t get the apartment and we lost our $200 deposit. That’s a huge amount to lose when you need to buy diapers, gas, toilet paper, food… Giving my child the most basic things became a huge challenge.”
She went on to share that, “Diapers are expensive, babies get sick and need medicine, so many expenses that you normally wouldn’t think twice about. It was at this time that I was connected to Bridging the Gap through a connection I had with Nurse Family Partnership. At Bridging the Gap I met my independent living coaches. I received a housing voucher, I got support to get diapers, and they even helped me get my GED so I wouldn’t have to work a minimum wage job and try to get by.”
“The most important thing I received was someone telling me, “Anahi, YOU CAN.”
Anahi is currently a Community Navigator Specialist at Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Center — the same help center she once called when she needed somewhere to turn.
“Now I talk to young moms, just like me, and I get to share resources with them and give them support. The support that is given through the Baby Shower and Women United not only gives young families the support and resources they need, it lets these individuals know that someone cares. It helps them believe that they can do it, too.”
A big thank you goes out to our Women United members, corporate partners, and community members who held drives and donated items this year. You’re providing resources and so much more. You’re helping young families know that someone cares about them and that speaks volumes.