COMMUNITY BABY SHOWER
On Tuesday, April 8th, 2014, the Bucyrus Public Library held its second annual Community Baby Shower. The month of April was decided on, since it is the Month of the Young Child, so it was the perfect fit! This is one of two Community Baby Showers that are held in the county. Galion holds a similar event every August, and BPL has had a presence there.
The event was held from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the cafeteria area of Bucyrus Community Hospital. This was a change from last year, when the event was held at the library. The whole cafeteria area was available for us to use. This event targeted first-time parents, parents-to-be, and families who are involved in programs such as WIC, GRADS, etc.
27 agencies serving families and children were contacted to participate. Ten responded and sent representatives: Crawford County WIC, OHCAC Head Start, Little Stars Daycare/Preschool, Voice of Hope Pregnancy Center, Dr. Ryan Hohman, Birth Place @ Galion Community Hospital, YWCA Northwest Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral, CareStar, Avita Pediatric Therapy Center, and Crawford County Help Me Grow. Of all the agencies who did not respond, only Turning Point sent a message that they would not be able to attend due to staffing issues.
The event was advertised through Crawford County WIC (who sent out 100 invites) through Jane Knight, who administers the GRADS program at Pioneer Joint Vocational School, and in-house PR at the library.
Prior to the event, we asked for RSVPs. I have 24 initial phone calls, and of those 24, 17 attended. The final total for attendance was 28 mommies-to-be/new moms, and with each of them bringing at least one person with them (husband, boyfriend, mom, friend), that pushed the attendance up to between 55-60 people. Last year, we had 14 attend.
Upon arrival, each attendee received a flier that had all of the attending agencies listed with their contact information and a “scavenger hunt”-type activity. Attending agencies were placed at tables around the perimeter of the cafeteria. Avita Health System Food Service provided refreshments for the evening. Cupcakes, cookies, bagged chips, fruit juices and water were available.
Barbara Scott, Children’s Librarian at BPL welcomed everyone and introduced Deana Grube, Lactation Consultant at Galion Community Hospital, who spoke on the importance of skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, as well as later in baby’s life.
Once Deana finished her presentation, attendees were invited to participate in the “scavenger hunt”. This consisted of a page and a half sheet listing the various agencies represented with a question that attendees had to ask and get the answer to. This provided time for one-on-one conversation with each of the families. Once they had finished with this, they were free to enjoy the refreshments provided.
About 7:30 p.m., drawings for door prizes were held. There was a wonderful variety of items to choose from, ranging from a basket of board books and items from the library to filled diaper bags to a large activity center that could be placed over a baby lying on the floor.
All of the agencies were well pleased with the turnout and can be most likely be counted on to participate in next year’s event.
LESSONS LEARNED FOR NEXT YEAR:
· Contact Wal-mart about possible donation of a stroller for a grand prize.
· Advertise the event more broadly. This year and last, it was only advertised through WIC, GRADS, and in-house at the library.
· Contact Galion and Crestline libraries to see if they wish to send information or have a presence at the event.
· Research why some agencies/organizations do not respond to our requests to have a presence. Specifically ones like La Leche League, MOPS, pediatric dentists (I have two that I have contacted the past two years), other preschools.
· Run the program from 6:00-7:30 p.m. if the same number of agencies are represented. If the number increases, then the time could be stretched to 8 p.m.