MUSCATINE, Iowa–Though babies start out little, their parents realize quickly it takes quite a lot of supplies to keep them healthy and happy. For parents in need, this can prove challenging. This April, United Way of Muscatine will hold their annual Community Baby Shower, and they invite everyone to contribute whatever they can.
A staple of United Way’s annual events, Community Engagement Manager Hilary Henke shared that the organization holds the shower to help numerous parents give their babies a better start in life: “United Way is inspired to host this event each year because we know that, even prior to the pandemic, over one-third of Muscatine County households were struggling to meet their most basic needs each month. This is an opportunity for us to come together to relieve some of the financial burdens families face and give these babies a bright start.”
Throughout the month of April, United Way will collect donations at their office, located at 615 Cedar Street, Suite 200 in Muscatine, just upstairs from Community Bank and Trust, from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. on weekdays. Community members may donate baby body wash and shampoo, baby lotion, baby oil, baby thermometers, baby wipes, car seats for infants and toddlers, bottles, infant Tylenol, lightweight receiving blankets, onesies in all sizes, and Pedialyte. Alternately, people may make a cash or check donation to United Way and their staff will fill in the gaps and purchase any items still needed after the drive.
Once United Way brings in the donations from the Community Baby Shower, they will divide them between several local organizations that work directly with families in need. These include the Community Diaper Bank, the Lutheran Service in Iowa HOPES program, the Muscatine Center for Social Action, the Muscatine Community Y’s Family Services, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County, and Trinity Muscatine Public Health.
Because babies require a lot of special care and because parents in need, especially first time parents, often do not have all of the tools they need to provide it, United Way encourages the community to step up and donate generously to the Community Baby Shower. After the success of previous drives, they have faith the community will rally around this cause once again. “United Way’s Mission is to mobilize resources to empower the greater Muscatine community to improve the lives of people in need,” said Henke. “This is one example of how we get to live our mission,” she added. “It’s amazing to live and work in a community in which individuals and organizations come together to make a better, brighter future for everyone.”