Girl Scouts hold ‘baby shower’ for Pregnancy Support Center

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 25, 2013

SALISBURY — The letters outside the door of the Grace Lutheran Church fellowship hall announced “Baby Shower,” and smiling girls watched and waved at guests as they came up the walk.
But Sunday’s event was no ordinary shower. The moms and babies being honored weren’t even there.
Still, the Girl Scouts of Troop 3563, based at the church, said they knew they were helping brighten families’ lives.
As part of a service project, the troop threw Sunday’s party to gather donations of diapers, baby wipes and other supplies for the Rowan Pregnancy Support Center.
After the first hour of the drop-in event, Samantha Swain, 10, said her family had helped gather “a pack of diapers, pacifiers and baby wipes.”
And more was on the way, even as the afternoon wore on.
In true baby shower fashion, some of the donations had been gift-wrapped.
That added a festive touch and a bit of surprise to the party, as the girls grabbed for “gifts” and opened them, then placed them with other donations.
“It’s really great, knowing that I get to help other people, not sitting at home watching TV,” said 11-year-old Parker McGuire.
Kirkland Hunter, 10, agreed. She said she was glad to spend her Sunday helping, “not like an average kid, sitting home doing nothing.”
Elizabeth Gentry, a volunteer with the Pregnancy Support Center, said the event was designed to help support families who cannot afford those items — “people who are struggling financially, and who are struggling with parenting,” Gentry said.
The Christian women’s ministry also provides ultrasounds, pregnancy counseling and abstinence education, among other services, Gentry said.
The families they serve often struggle with the staples of parenting a newborn or toddler, “formula, diapers, wipes, pacifiers,” Gentry said.
Troop Leader Amanda Waynick said the Junior Girl Scouts who organized the service project chose the Pregnancy Support Center from a list of local charities.
“They’ve done a really good job,” Waynick said.
Planning started over a month ago, she said, with the girls taking invitations to some 120 parishioners, friends and family members.
In addition to helping prepare finger sandwiches and cupcakes, and decorating for the “shower,” she said the girls had learned how poverty affects parents and babies.
The project was also a chance to offer age-appropriate information and awareness that will help the girls make the right decisions in the future.
Asked what they felt best about, it was the chance to help improve the lives of babies and mothers.
“I learned that I can help people in different ways,” said Kaitlyn Blackwell, 10.
“You can do anything to help others,” said 11-year-old Jade Houston.
“It feels good to help people,” said Jerah Alfonso, 11.
“Part of the Girl Scout Law is to use resources wisely,” said Susan Tovar, a volunteer with the troop, “and this is a resource for low-income families.”
These Juniors on the third stage of their Junior Journey Agent of Change Award, in which the girls learn about their community and form partnerships, Waynick said.
Their goal is to advance to the next rank, Cadette.
What’s more, leaders promised them a reward for collecting 100 packages of supplies: an outdoors camping trip, where their leaders would have to sleep on the ground.
“And I am not a sleep-on-the-ground type of girl!” laughed Jennifer McGuire, volunteer leader with Troop 3563.
Tovar said the troop’s leaders weren’t sure how much support they would get from the community. “We’re impressed,” she said.
And, although the girls were still short of their goal at press time, but it’s not too late to donate, organizers said, to help make that camping trip happen.
Diapers in sizes three, four or five and baby wipes are requested, and may be dropped off at the Grace Lutheran Church office, 3020 Grace Church Rd., or at the Pregnancy Support Center office, 847 S. Main St., Salisbury.

Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.