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Shower of Love collecting baby care items for struggling parents

baby with bottle
File photo

Nationally, one in three families do not have an adequate supply of diapers, wipes, and baby care items. Parents who struggle to afford these basics, often feel increased financial stress and may water down formula or re-use their disposable diapers, just to make it through the week.

In St. Charles County, non-profits receive hundreds of inquiries each month asking for diapers, baby clothes, car seats, and other baby care basics.

The Community and Children’s Resource Board (CCRB) and seven St. Charles County non-profits will come together in April for the only county-wide collection drive. Volunteers ask community partners to collect diapers, wipes, and baby care items in April. The drive culminates on April 30, when volunteers hand out flyers at participating Walmart, Midtowne Market, and Dierbergs stores, collecting donations from shoppers. Since 2006, Shower of Love has collected over $1 million in donations; all go directly to St. Charles County babies, moms, and caregivers experiencing poverty or crisis.

“April is Child Abuse Prevention month and Shower of Love’s purpose is to reduce the risk of child abuse by providing tangible support to moms in poverty and crisis. We are excited about raising awareness about the fragile families in our community and collecting baby care items to help them. Federal programs do not typically provide diapers and baby care items, and for many families spending an average of $100 a month for baby supplies is a hardship. It’s a safety concern, too, as reusing diapers and using unsafe or second-hand equipment can lead to serious physical and developmental problems for babies,” said Jeanne Spencer, coordinator for Shower of Love.

Shower of Love helps moms, babies, and families across the county. One young mom was in a difficult situation when she began teen parent classes at Youth In Need. Impoverished, pregnant, and trying to finish high school, she was unsure of how she could work, go to school, and take care everything her new baby needed. In the teen parent program, she was given the opportunity to earn diapers, formula, and other items she needed, as well as get parenting support and safety education. Having this additional support allowed her to stay in school.

Benefitting non-profits for 2020 are Birthright St. Charles, Nurses for Newborns, Our Lady’s Inn, Sts. Joachim & Ann Care Service, St. Charles and Wentzville Crisis Nursery, ThriVe St. Louis, and Youth In Need. During April, over 40 businesses, churches, schools, and civic groups will host donation drives for the Shower of Love. The CCRB administers a local sales tax fund dedicated to children’s mental health and substance use treatment services. To learn more, visit www.showeroflovestc.org or call Jeanne Spencer at 636-939-6200.

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