Expectant families will be showered in support later this month as another Community Baby Shower is planned by the Workforce Solutions and Community Development department of Community Action Organization of Scioto County (CAO).
The baby shower is being planned by CAO Nurse Navigators Sharon Otworth and Aurora Webb, who are veterans in providing the service.
At the event, community partners will be gathered to discuss available services to participants that are beneficial in ensuring a healthy pregnancy and a healthy start for infants.
“The benefit of such an event allows participants to gain knowledge and access resources available in our region,” Otworth said. “This event will also provide pregnant participants with gifts for their newborns, such as diapers, wipes, car seats, highchairs, strollers, walkers, etc. Our community partners bring so many baby items to the shower that you should be prepared to stay a while.”
Otworth continued to explain that there is a lot to learn during the event from many involved partner organizations.
“The health and wellness of a pregnant woman and her unborn child is important to us, and we want to make a difference. Educational handouts for safe sleep will be available. Topics like ‘Share the room, not the bed,’ ‘It is never okay to sleep with a baby,’ and more. Safe sleep education is our goal along with getting the message out to the community to stop co-sleeping with a baby,” Otworth explained. “Also, the Scioto County Health Department will offer the T-Dap, COVID and Flu vaccines, and will partner with AAA-7 for a gift card give away.”
Otworth explained that they’ve held this event many times over the years and she looks forward to it each time it comes around. It is one of her annual highlights.
“Our event is open to all pregnant families. There is never a cost to participants and many prizes are won. We educate about the benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy and offer our Baby and Me Tobacco Free training,” Otworth said. “We talk about Safe Sleep and Our Safe Sleep program. We invite participants to enroll in our Pathways to a Healthy Pregnancy program to help ensure that babies are taken care of before they are born.”
Webb echoed Otworth’s sentiment, explaining the day is about education of resources and providing opportunities.
“There are many programs available that people use, but don’t know the extent of the services offered,” Webb said. “We want pregnant families to come and have a good time, win door prizes, and take advantage of the programs offered to them.”
An LPN, Webb takes a lot of joy in working with the expectant families.
“We love helping pregnant women. Knowing that we can make a difference in a life is the most rewarding experience. One of the greatest gifts of coming to work is hearing of a healthy delivery and getting to see our client’s holding their babies. Pathways To a Healthy Pregnancy helps eliminate barriers and offers incentives for pregnant women. Community Action Organization provides diapers, wipes, and gas cards for pregnant women who qualify. We give away car seats and cribettes to those who complete the educational trainings and meet the requirements for those programs. This is not a job. It is a passion to make and see a difference. Our goal is to have healthy mothers and babies. We make differences in people’s lives. Our team consists of myself, Sharon Otworth, Traci Carver, and Julia Mosley. Together the four of us make a difference.”
Workforce Solutions and Community Development Director Luanne Valentine says that she finds the baby shower to be important and enjoys watching her staff make it a success each year.
“Aurora and Sharon are two of the most passionate people I know when it comes to championing their clients and providing them with every possible opportunity that is available to them,” Valentine said. “They are always hitting new goals and reaching more people. I’m always proud to see the success of a project they’ve spearheaded once we say goodbye to clients and start the cleanup process. I definitely recommend any expecting family to consider attending the event, because our department always knocks it out of the park.”
The CAO Community Baby Shower will be held February 29 between 1 and 3 p.m. The event will welcome expectant families at the CAO of Scioto County Welcome Center, 342 Second Street, Portsmouth.
Community Action Organization of Scioto County is a 501©3 non-profit serving southern Ohio, primarily Scioto County, in a wide capacity. Through dozens of programs across five major departments, Workforce Solutions and Community Development, Early Childhood, Social Services, Energy Solutions, and WIC, the agency assists community members in nearly every need someone may have. If there isn’t an in-house program to support a need, then they have a partner they can refer. The agency is “helping people, changing lives” at 433 Third Street, Portsmouth. To learn more, call 740.354.7541. or visit www.caosciotocounty.org.