By Kim Walter
Valley Health is holding several community baby showers to benefit local agencies and new families in need.
The community baby showers are taking place at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, Warren Memorial Hospital and Winchester Medical Center.
Until June 16, the hospitals are gathering new, unwrapped items such as baby wipes, diapers, baby shampoo and lotion, blankets, sippy cups, onesies, bottles, diaper rash cream, spoons and new clothing in sizes newborn to 2T.
Front Royal gifts will be shared by two local agencies - Front Royal Pregnancy Center and Health Families of Warren County. Woodstock items will go to A Small Hand, Healthy Families and the Shenandoah County Pregnancy Center.
Winchester gifts will be given to ABBA Care, CCAP, Health Families Northern Shenandoah Valley, New Eve, Red Wagon Ministry and the Laurel Center.
A community baby shower piggy bank in each hospital cafeteria is also ready to accept loose change for additional items.
Ellen Cox, Spirit of Women coordinator, said collections so far seem to be going well, but she said she hopes donation rates will pick up before the 16th.
"The fact of the matter is that these agencies are constantly utilized by new parents and families," she said. "Those little items are things that these agencies always donate, and so they are always in need of them."
Cox said every little bit counts. If someone is unable to shop for items, but would like to donate funds, that is perfectly fine.
"We will do the shopping for you!" she said.
Spirit of Women has already raised funds to purchase eight infant car seats for Healthy Families of Warren County, two high chairs and three cribs and mattresses for Shenandoah County Pregnancy Center, and a Pack'n Play for Shenandoah Healthy Families.
Additionally, the Winchester Medical Center Foundation has committed about $3,700 for a variety of small and large gifts for Winchester agencies.
Cox said the agencies are always happy to get whatever they can through the community baby showers.
"We understand that times are tough for everybody, so even just a tub of wipes can make a difference," she said. "Whatever you can afford is very much needed and appreciated. It's a tremendous help."
Contact Cox at 540-536-6168 for inquiries about financial donations. More information on the baby showers can be found at www.valleyhealthlink.com/babyshower.
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or email@example.com