Community baby shower: Helping mothers below the poverty line

Posted at 10:39 AM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-03 10:40:47-04

The United Way of Buffalo and Erie County are organizing a community baby shower to help at-risk mothers and their babies.

People are encouraged to donate necessities, including diapers, wipes, digital thermometers and baby board books, during the community-wide effort on Monday.

The donations will support mothers in Erie County living below the poverty line to help their young children get a good start in life. Financial donations are also welcomed and will help buy essential items for babies.

The donations will go to the three United Way funded non-profit agencies that serve young families: Catholic Charities of Buffalo WIC program, Buffalo Prenatal Perinatal Network, and the Jericho Road Community Health Center.

According to The United Way, more than 5,000 babies are born into poverty and at a higher risk of health issues due to a lack of prenatal care. The organization also says nine babies are born to women receiving no or late prenatal care each week. Within that same timeframe, 22 are born pre-term, 16 are low birth weight - and onlye one will survive to see their first birthday.

"Being a parent is stressful for anyone at any age, but caring for a newborn when you lack basic resources can be particularly challenging and can lead to health risks for babies," said Michael Weiner, United Way President and CEO. "We know from past experience that Western New York is very generous so we are confident that we will be able to help support many new moms this year. Many times these new items provide a sense of community caring for new mothers at a time when they can feel very alone. By providing some f the essentials that young families need, our community can help give a stronger start in life for their babies."

The community-wide baby shower has helped more than 6,000 families since it began in 2010.

Items can be dropped at the United Way offices at 742 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo through May 11.

To host your own baby shower to collect donations, to sign up as a host and to see the wish list, contact Suzette O'Brien at suzette.obrien@uwbec.org or 887-2744. United Way can provide hosts with promotional material and speakers for their baby shower.