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Community again called to rally around Baby Shower

There is nothing more exciting than the arrival of a new baby.

But before the little one arrives, new parents might want to take advantage of the fourth annual Community Wide Baby Shower, which will offer a bundle of educational opportunities for moms and dads.

Sponsored by the United Way of West Central Mississippi, Merit Health River Region and Excel By 5, the event is scheduled for Wednesday, July 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m..

During the event, parents will have the chance to learn about services offered to children from birth to 3-years-old.

“Parents will also leave with a goody bag of literature, fun stuff and resources about the community,” United Way of West Central Mississippi Director of Resource Development Heidi Burrell said.

During the free event, expecting parents will have the chance to get information from exhibits set up around the hospital atrium, Burrell said, some of which will include information on prenatal and maternity care, infant care and nutrition. There will be agencies offering breast-feeding support, information on parenting and fatherhood and insurance eligibility screening.

In all, 15 community service booths will be manned by people offering advice, United Way of West Central Mississippi Director of Marketing Kami May said, with topics also including child safety, developmental milestones, early literacy opportunities, postpartum depression and mental health.

There will also be a car seat demonstration by Vicksburg Family Development Director Kay Lee.

The Community Wide Baby Shower, which got its start as a project by the 2016 Leadership Vicksburg class, also serves as a means for expectant parents to find out what the community offers.

“One of the exciting things for us is that we didn’t realize that there were some mothers walking around last year who hadn’t had their first prenatal visit and didn’t have their insurance in place,” Burrell said, but with the help of resources available through Merit Health and the State Department of Health, appointments were set up for the mothers.

During the Community Wide Baby Shower baby supplies are also collected that will then be dispersed to agency resource closets.

“Leading up to the baby shower and resource fair, businesses and organizations all around Vicksburg collect baby essentials and bring the collected items to Merit Health the day of the baby shower,” May said.

“Last year, we collected more than 6,000 diapers,” Burrell said, that were distributed to the agency resource closets, as well as 11,432 baby wipes, four pack-and-plays, three car seats, 67 bottles, 825 pacifiers and nine homemade blankets. There were also 48 baby hygiene items collected, 25 baby toys and 15 cans of formula.

Burrell said groups or individuals interested in donating can drop off baby items from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Merit Health, or anytime at the United Way office, 920 South St.

In addition to the information that will be available for parents, cake and punch will be served at the Community Wide Baby Shower, and expecting parents can enter to win a door prize.

“It is always so overwhelming to see the massive amount of donations from our local businesses, churches and civic organizations,” United Way of West Central Mississippi Michele Connelly said. “Knowing the community supports United Way is always appreciated. But it means even more to me to see how the community rallies around our new and expecting parents.”

Needed Donations:

  • Diapers, newborn through size 5
  • Wipes
  • Diaper cream
  • Diaper Bag
  • Bibs and burp cloths
  • Baby laundry detergent
  • Baby soap and lotion
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Baby Powder
  • Onsies, newborn through 2T
  • Newborn hats and socks
  • Blankets
  • Pacifiers
  • Bottles and bottle brushes
  • Pack and plays
  • Car seats
  • Infant rockers

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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