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June 20, 2018
This event was a way for low-income mothers to get in touch with the resources they need and celebrate their pregnancy. More than 12 agencies were in attendance.
“Having one-on-one conversations and in-depth discussions with the resources available, they were very meaningful to me,” said Jessa Dyer, a first-time expectant mother. “I learned about a multitude of new resources that I would not have known about if I didn’t go.”
Jessa, like the other mothers in attendance, receives some type of support from the state and community, but she was surprised about some of the options that were available to her. “I didn’t realize that I could speak with a post-partum counselor before I had the baby,” she said. “It’s been very helpful.”
The mothers who attended the Community Baby Shower not only had the chance to speak with specialists one on one, but they were able to do it in a trusted space – the Matthews House Community Life Center at Fullana. “What was most impactful was having a safe place to go and celebrate my pregnancy and have all the resources in our community in one place versus having to call them on my own,” Jessica said.
This may have been the first chance that these mothers were able to celebrate their pregnancy. During the event, baby shower kits – baskets of baby items – were distributed to attendees. These kits were assembled by volunteers last November as part of United Way of Larimer County’s Family Volunteer Day partnership with the City of Fort Collins. Items for the kits were purchased through grant dollars from Otter Cares and Points of Light/GenerationOn.
Additionally, MotherLove Herbal sponsored the event, providing samples of their prenatal products to those in attendance. Along with the Poudre River Library for providing children’s books, UC Health SafeKids for car seat and helmet vouchers, as well as a gift bag and free childbirth breastfeeding class and Clothes Pony in Fort Collins for donating infant and material wear.
While additional Community Baby Shower events may be held in the future, United Way’s 2-1-1 Information and Referral is available year-round to connect individuals to the resources available in Larimer County. Additionally, Be Ready Navigators, funded by United Way at the Matthews House, are in place to help ensure the best care is available to new mothers and their children.
Jessa, being a first-time mom still has advice for other mothers out there - “Don’t stress too much and asking for help is okay.”
Jessa Dyer is expecting a baby girl in September 2018. She is currently attending Aims Community College and has confidently passed two classes thus far. She is in great spirits about the next endeavor of her life and feels that she has the support of her community and family to get her through! Thank you, Jessa, we wish you the best of luck!
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County