By Tina Teifer, Director of Multicultural Outreach

Right to Life of Michigan and The Reconciled Church hosted the first annual Motor City Baby Shower on Saturday, May 18, at Clark Park in Southwest Detroit. The location was the perfect site for an afternoon celebration of motherhood and community. The sun-dappled park came alive with love for the beautiful young families who were given support to make a choice for life. Nearly 100 women attended, many with their families.

Volunteers with four trucks arrived very early in the morning to deliver gifts and goodies for distribution.  Rows and rows of diapers, wipes, clothing, toys, formula, and other donated goods stretched across the grass, carefully displayed so the ladies could take what they wanted.  Each woman who registered was given the opportunity to choose one big item that she needed the most.  RLM and generous donors provided a mountain of cardboard boxes containing brand new car seats, pack n’ plays, strollers, swings, and walkers.  In addition, diaper bags, called blessing bags, were given out containing onesies, bottles, washcloths and other necessities. No woman left empty handed, and no item was left over that day.

In addition to material necessities, families received information that could help them to improve their lives and ease the stress of parenthood.  Twenty organizations such as Heart of Christ Clinic, Detroit at Work, Sister Friends, ICU Birth Choice, El Viñedo de Raquel, Bethany Christian Services, Matrix Head Start, and Better Way Detroit highlighted their services and resources. Mothers and fathers were able to speak with representatives and gather information available in both Spanish and English.

Together with volunteers and representatives of over twenty support organizations, hundreds of people enjoyed a day of hope highlighting life, the other choice.

The event was created to build up women who might be feeling afraid and overwhelmed with the demands of motherhood.  The idea was to walk alongside them providing a bit of companionship to help navigate what might seem like an uncertain future.  Knowing they are not alone is often all it takes.

Lead volunteer, Crystal Kinard previewed the event on WDIV Local 4 News saying, “When you come down, you’re going to get all the love that you need, and you’ll know that it’s going to be okay.”

Families enjoyed a free picnic lunch under the gazebo or under a shady tree on a blanket.  Children had the opportunity to have their faces painted and pick from dozens of donated books. The success of the first-time city-wide baby shower was reflected in the joyful smiles on their little faces.  These babies are the proof of their mothers’ devotion and determination.  They are their families’ legacies and the future of the city of Detroit. Right to Life of Michigan is honored to help women see all of their options and empower them to choose life.

The Motor City Baby Shower was made possible by so many.  Right to Life of Michigan was grateful to co-host with The Reconciled Church and Pastor Lois Tyler.  Woodside Bible Church and Weingartz sponsored the event.  Churches, individuals, businesses and agencies got involved and donated their time, talent and treasure to come alongside the mothers of Detroit.

“We want women to know that they are not alone. There are resources right in our community to help them prepare for the birth of their child,” said María Teresa Garcia, RLM’s event lead and member of the organization’s multicultural team. “The baby shower is a celebration, a party for moms, many of whom don’t have family here. So, this is a way to celebrate their lives and their babies’ lives.”