How We Began

 
  In 1999, a group of women from All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Vancouver, came to the aid of local needy newborns. They were soon joined by people from other churches and community groups. They collected clothes, blankets, diapers and car seats for layettes that could be given as needed to babies born at our local hospital.
  It all began with a chance remark after church one Sunday. A woman who worked as a social worker at Southwest Washington Medical Center (SWMC), was explaining over coffee that she’d been hunting for some clothes and a car seat for an impoverished mother. A new mom was ready for discharge, but lacked the bare essentials for her baby. Again!
  Most women are joyful at the birth of their child. For some, however, this is also a time of despair, fear, and worry. These are the unsupported women who may be homeless, victims of domestic violence or substance abuse, or undocumented immigrants. There may be a father present, but unable to work because of recent medical problems or a job loss. Or, they may have extensive hospital costs because of prematurity, birth defects, or other special needs. These mothers/parents are unable to provide basic clothing, blankets, and/or car seats for their babies. They are ready for discharge but don’t have a diaper or a baby gown.
  About 500 babies are born every month in Vancouver hospitals. The six layettes needed per month in 1999 have grown to 23. The five car seats have grown to 13.
  What began with three women has grown to an outreach composed of 20 churches from 6 denominations, 26 corporate and community groups, and several hundred individual donors of time, talent, money or layette gifts.
  It is a joy to serve these little ones. This ministry will continue into the future because of people like you.