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Soroptomist event helps mothers

A Community Mother and Baby Shower will be held on Saturday from 9 a.m. to — p.m. at the Ashland Albertsons store near the intersection of Ashland Street and Tolman Creek Road Road.

"The response from the community last year was terrific. I came into work and there was a whole cubicle full of items that had been donated," said Marlene Sadler, nurse for the Department of Health and Human Services. She distributed the items donated for the shower last year.

The donated items are given to local Health and Human Services offices for distribution to needy women in Ashland, Talent, and Phoenix. Many of their pregnancies have been marred by poverty, violence, or abuse, according to organizers. For the babies born into these situations, there is usually no celebration or welcoming gifts.

Soroptomist Clubs throughout the Northwest are hosting these baby showers in response to these community issues to provide the needed supplies for new babies and their moms.

Those who work daily with these individuals suggest the following items are needed most: disposable/cloth diapers, baby shampoo, oil, and wipes; receiving blankets/quilts; car seats; strollers; clothing such as Onesies/socks/booties/hats; nursing pads and lanolin, Pedialyte, teething rings/gel, thermometers, ointments, and infant Tylenol.

Cash donations will also be accepted along with used clothing for mothers and infants.

"The greatest benefit these women receive from the shower is the knowledge that they can take care of their children's needs. This enables them to feel better about their parenting skills," Marlene explained.

Wendy Ray, Soroptomist chair and social worker, sees a variety of new moms needing assistance in our area, most of which are working families. Many must choose between paying the electric bill and buying diapers or medicine for their babies. Those few who receive cash assistance from the state must find a way to make ends meet on $436 per month.

"The shower helps provide enough help that they can pay the electric bill without feeling like they are shortchanging their children," Marlene said.

Marlene also sees many homeless women who upon leaving the hospital after giving birth must take their babies with them to camp in the watershed.

Soroptomist International is a non-profit volunteer service organization and donations are tax deductible. Their mission is to improve the lives of women and girls locally and globally. This is the second year the Ashland Chapter has participated.

There will be a table at the Ashland Albertsons where donors may bring their gifts.

For further information, call Ashland Soroptimist Chair Mavis Cloutier at 488-0562 or Marlene Sadler at 482-2041, ext. 240.