‘Community Baby Shower’ in Greenfield to share baby items, resources for families

Published: 9/16/2022 8:09:19 PM

Modified: 9/16/2022 8:05:26 PM

GREENFIELD — A group of local and regional agencies is returning to Court Square on Saturday for a “Community Baby Shower” to raise awareness of the resources available to families with children.

“What’s really great about this type of event is that a family or young parent could come and meet a whole lot of different resources at once,” said Mollie Hartford, development director at the Huntington nonprofit It Takes a Village, one of the participating organizations. “It can be really tricky for a parent to navigate finding out about resources on their own.”

The baby shower, hosted by the Franklin County Perinatal Support Coalition, will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Court Square. A series of organizations will provide information, raffle prizes, and other free gifts for parents and parents-to-be. There will also be baby clothes and other baby items available for free.

The organizations include: The Birthplace at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Center for Human Development, Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and North Quabbin, Community Action Family Center, Community Action Head Start and Early Learning Programs, Criterion Child Enrichment, Healthy Families, Moms Do Care EMPOWER, the Salasin Project, ServiceNet, Collaborative for Educational Services, Greenfield Health Department, and Women, Infants and Children.

“This event is going to have so many resource agencies from around Franklin County,” Hartford said.

She said the ability to have numerous organizations in one place also allows for smoother networking between agencies for parents or expecting parents.

“They’re much more likely to take up and use a resource when there’s been a warm hand-off, or when it’s a face-to-face interaction,” she noted.

Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many pediatrician offices transitioned to offering remote services, parents lost a resource for connecting with area agencies, she added.

“There are less kids in daycare, less kids in preschool right now, which is often where we get connected with resources like this,” she said.

Last fall, as many as 100 families attended the event, according to Hartford. Additionally, free baby clothes and supplies, worth more than $2,800 in all, were distributed.

“It was so much fun to watch people shop and get excited about baby clothes and baby shoes and baby gear,” she said. “With supply chain issues and inflation, all of that is more expensive. It’s that extra strain on families. If we can lessen that strain on families, it can really open up families … to using that money for something else.”

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne.