SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – If you’ve had a baby in the greater Springfield area in recent years, you may have heard of the Springfield Area Parent Child Center’s Welcome Baby program. What started out as a modest packet of resources given to new parents or caregivers has evolved into a collaborative and integrated program that will serve 200 families this year with resources, support, and a Welcome Baby Bag of gifts – all free and open to anyone expecting a baby or who has a baby up to one year old.
When you receive a Welcome Baby Bag, you aren’t just receiving a bag of items, you are receiving a connection with a community of professionals and volunteers who truly care and are passionate about working with families.
Kelsea Gorey is a mother of four and a recipient of three Welcome Baby Bags over the past six years. She has seen firsthand how the Welcome Baby program has grown. She was happily surprised to see all the gifts included in her most recent bag. She found swaddlers; a tiny, knitted sweater and hat; a soft block for her babies to hold; a heat-safe baby spoon; a tube to check if something is a choking hazard; a baby book; lotion; and an array of information and resources to support parents in the raising of young children.
Kelsea has shared her experience with her friends who are new parents, telling them that they “must go to the Springfield Area Parent Child Center.” Like most parents who connect with SAPCC, Kelsea has now utilized several of the wonderful services they provide, including resources, referrals, early intervention, and community playgroups. For more information about SAPCC and their many programs and services, please visit www.sapcc-vt.org.
Kelsea said her favorite gift in the bag was the warm, soft, colorful receiving blanket that is now her 3-year-old’s favorite blanket. These special, one-of-a-kind, blankets are handmade by several area sewing groups: the Quilter’s Group from the First Congregational Church in Springfield; Kitting Together from Bellows Falls; Life Fellowship’s Loving Hearts Sewing Group from Charlestown, N.H.; The KnitWit Club from the Senior Center in Springfield; and other individual sewing volunteers in the area.
Over 20 volunteers, groups, and organizations donate many of the items found in the Welcome Baby Bags, including books, new clothing, diapers, hats, booties, handmade stuffed baby toys, burp cloths, and more. Some items such as the lotions, choke tubes, and spoons need to be purchased. If you’d like to be a part of this growing program by donating items or making a monetary contribution, please contact SAPCC’s Welcome Baby Bag coordinator Celeste Marquise at email@example.com or 802-886-5242, ext. 257.