Nothing exemplifies the excitement and anticipation of an expected baby like a good old-fashioned, traditional baby shower. Friends and relatives gather together with games, cake and punch to shower the mother-to-be with well wishes and baby gifts. There are many young girls and women in our country however, who are pregnant or parenting, that have likely never attended, nor will they ever attend a baby shower.
If that fact gives you pause, or brings a frown to your face, you just might want to entertain the idea of throwing a baby shower for charity. It’s fun, relatively easy, and worth its weight in positive karma!
Step one is to find a reputable charity/organization that works with disadvantaged young mothers and mothers to be that is willing and able to accept your offerings. Believe it or not, this may be your biggest hurdle. Some organizations, although they love the idea, are not organized in a manner that allows this sort of “donation.” To find an organization, do a web search for youth services organizations in your local area and just start calling.
Step two is to find a location and set the date and time. Hopefully, the organization you find will also have access to a space adequate for holding the shower. If not, this step may take a little extra effort. When organizing this set of details, be sure to keep in mind the transportation and child care needs of those young women who will be the guests of honor.
Step three is to create the gift registry. This can be done on a variety of websites, and allows for out-of-town invitees to participate, even though they may not be able to actually attend the shower. Gifts (or gift cards) should be shipped to the host/hostess so they can be wrapped and tagged prior to the shower. Care should be taken to assure the number and value of gifts are as equally distributed amongst the mothers as possible.
Step four is to send out your invitations. This can be done the traditional way, with printed and mailed cards, or via the internet by such sites as evite.com. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and depending on the size and demographic of your guest list, you may want to employ a combination of both.
Step five is planning the shower. Food, games, decorations, prizes, etc. will all need to be planned and purchased. A quick internet search will likely provide more than enough ideas and sources for this portion of the to-do list.
Step six is the actual shower itself. The space will need to be set up and decorated prior to the start time. You may be able to utilize volunteers from your organization’s staff to help with this, as well as the clean up afterwards.
Step seven is the after-event wrap up. Thank you notes should be written by all the young women personally, and sent to all those who purchased gifts. If appropriate, a brief news release may be written and distributed to local news sources to help raise awareness for the organization and possibly cultivate the opportunity for future donations from others.
If this all sounds like a great idea but you’re not sure you can pull it off, just recruit a friend or two to help. Divided three ways, the workload becomes much easier to handle, and you’ll be providing a possible once in a lifetime positive experience for these young women, and getting their babies off to a loving start.