Here’s a press release from the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County:
BUFFALO, N.Y.– Donation of diapers, wipes, digital thermometers and other essential items for Erie County’s tiniest residents are being sought as part of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County’s Community Baby Shower that kicked off April 1st and runs through May 6. The Baby Shower is a community-wide effort to collect essential baby items to help at-risk mothers provide their babies a stronger start in life and to provide the support both moms and newborns need for a healthy beginning. Items collected will benefit the constituents of three United Way funded non-profit agencies serving young families including Catholic Charities of Buffalo WIC program; Buffalo Prenatal Perinatal Network; and the Jericho Road Community Health Center Priscilla Project.
In Erie County, thousands of babies are born into poverty and many face health risks due to a lack of prenatal care. Each week 9 babies are born to women receiving no or late prenatal care; 22 are born pre-term; 16 are low birth weight and one will not survive to reach one year of age.
Local companies and residents are encouraged to host a Baby Shower with friends, family, neighbors or co-workers to collect new baby supplies or financial donations to help give newborns and moms support for a healthy beginning. The United Way has set a goal of filling 1,000 gift bags that will be distributed to new moms throughout Erie County.
Brand new baby items can be dropped off at the United Way offices at 742 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo through May 6. The most needed essential items for families with new babies include diapers, baby sleep sacks, baby wipes, and digital thermometers. However, all donations of new baby items as well as cash donations or gift cards will be gratefully accepted. Each mom will receive a copy of United Way’s Resources for Caregivers, Helping Loved Ones at all Stages of Life, a convenient guide to healthcare and non-profit organizations that may be of assistance to new moms and their babies.
According to Michael Weiner, United Way president and CEO, “Being a new mom can be stressful enough without the added burden of poverty or health concerns as a result of a pre-term or low birth weight baby. Many items that middle class families take for granted may make a tremendous difference to these stressed families. Based on the response we have received in previous years, we are confident that the Western New York Community will demonstrate their generosity and support these young families to help moms provide a strong and healthy start for her newborn.“
Introduced in 2012 as part of United Way’s mission to improve health and wellness in the community, the event is sponsored by Erie County Medical Center, WKBW Channel 7 and Townsquare Media.
For more information on how to host a Baby Shower, to sign up as a host, and see the wish list, visit www.uwbec.org. United Way can provide hosts with promotional materials and speakers for their event.
If you or someone you know is an expectant mother in need of assistance, contact Western New York 2-1-1 for information on available services (dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-696-9211).