One of the most exciting parts of having a baby is the shower, where parents-to-be receive a pile of gifts, helping them to cover the costs that a new baby incurs by having their family members give them much-needed items as gifts. For moms who don’t have the same kind of familial and communal support, gathering all of the things they need for a new baby can be a struggle.
One Chicago hospital located in a low-income neighborhood realized just how many of their patients may have been struggling, and decided to do something to help.
St. Bernard Hospital in the Chicago neighborhood of Englewood hosted more than 100 grateful mothers at this year’s communal baby shower. For those who work at the hospital, they wanted to give back to one of the poorest and most violent neighborhoods in the city. The event itself was the brainchild of a 37-year veteran nurse, Evelyn Jones.
One of the highlights of the events is that anyone can attend, but the hospital has made sure to go the extra mile, ensuring that every mom-to-be who joins the festivities leaves with a gift. “For a lot of them, this is their only baby shower and they’re all very grateful and so appreciative,” Jones said. Most of the gifts that the women take home are provided by Jones herself, who has donated more than $1,000 of her own money in order to make the purchases.
“While the [moms] are at the clinic I’ll have my staff ask them [questions] so I get some feedback on what to buy,” Jones said. “You don’t know what you need until you don’t have it as a new mom.” Jones spends the year purchasing gifts to give to the moms who join, even taking care to provide things for moms who already have toddlers, and some toiletries for the few dads-to-be as well.