The Chipola Healthy Start Coalition hosted 750 participants during its recent third annual Community Baby Shower held at Rivertown Community Church in Marianna. This free event was open to all families expecting a baby or with children under age three residing in Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, or Washington counties. Each family received much needed baby supplies, which included diapers and handmade newborn caps, and care items for mom. Community partners and local healthcare providers, such as, Jackson Hospital, Early Learning Coalition, WIC, and Marianna Fire and Rescue, were on hand to answer questions, and to assist families with any necessary services and provide education on topics like how to have a healthy pregnancy, best practices for keeping babies safe, tips to quit smoking, and how to connect to other community resources. Members of the Chipola College Nursing Program were also on hand to conduct wellness checks during the event.
Each agency participating in the event, along with other community partners such as Farm Share, West Florida Electric, Ice River Springs, Chipley Piggly Wiggly, Ameris Bank of Blountstown and Blountstown Drugs, all donated door prizes and other items, which were also given away during the event. All attendees were treated to lunch provided by Sysco Gulf Coast and made complete with cupcakes baked by the culinary departments at Marianna High School and Blountstown High School. Several local daycares helped by making the decorations, and volunteers from Cottondale High School Beta Club, Rivertown Community Church, Knights of Columbus and the Pilot Club of Marianna donated their time to help with the event.
The overwhelming generosity of the community helped to make this year’s Community Baby Shower a truly amazing event for everyone who attended. To find out how you can help give babies a healthy start, please contact Chipola Healthy Start toll-free at 1-866-591-2852 or visit www.chipolahealthystart.org.