Diane Gordon, Publicity Director
The Military Baby Shower Committee completed its mission of supplying 23 families with everything they would need to welcome their newest patriot into the world. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, the customary baby shower event had to be canceled. However, on June 13 and 14, the selected military families arrived at the base in half hour increments over the two-day course, to accept their baby gifts and supplies from a few committee members who were allowed onto the base. Everything from strollers to diaper bags filled to the brim with baby supplies, laundry baskets filled with clothes, diapers, toys, and mommy’s bags were handed over to the families. Darci Thompson, the on-base director of psychological health, explained that this was a blessing for the active military personnel, many of whom were getting deployed in the next couple of weeks. Darci explained that these gifts now allowed the servicemen and women to focus on their mission and not have to worry about their baby’s needs.
This year provided the committee with lots of new opportunities for change and challenges, testing our flexibility and resilience.
Before COVID-19 abruptly shut down our prospects of collecting donations, the committee had already decided to take a broader approach to obtain donations and gain support for the baby shower by expanding our reach into Tucson. Previously, most of the donations had been from Quail Creek and Green Valley residents. Roxanne Housley, a member of the committee, took up the task of reaching out to business contacts, family, and friends in Tucson. She explained our mission and asked if they would donate a stroller. Enough funds were collected to provide a stroller to all 23 families. Alli Finn, the Irvington Target store director, graciously secured a 2019 holiday sale price for all 23 strollers, which saved the committee considerable money. Tucson businesses such as Maxwell Aesthetics, Cathey’s Sewing and Vacuum, Dr. Lori Mackstaller, Q&A Group LLC, and The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona all contributed generously to the baby shower.
In addition to the substantial donations collected in Tucson, the committee undertook the job of making masks for the entire community, or anyone who wanted/needed one, and requested a donation to the baby shower in place of charging for the masks. The committee made over 1,425 masks and raised $14,000 to fund the baby shower. Although COVID-19 put a damper on the actual baby shower event, ingenuity and resourcefulness of the committee members allowed the presentation of baby gifts to proceed as planned.
This ninth annual baby shower will forever be marked as the year of the pandemic, but also as the year of creativity and change for the Military Baby Shower committee.
Our date for next year is already set for May 15, 2021, so mark your calendars. Let’s hope and pray that by this time next year we can execute our usual fun celebratory event with our military families.