May 3rd, 2017

The Baby Shop

Do you know about The Montgomery County Baby Shop?  Do you know where it’s located and who it serves?  This totally volunteer, donations-based project in our community, is located in the activity building of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church at 220 W. Main St. in Christiansburg. It’s just a stone’s throw from my house in Christiansburg and I was drawn to becoming a part of the volunteer crew knowing I could get there easily. I truly felt called to support this worthy undertaking by BPC and St. Paul’s and the Baby Shop has been a great fit for me.  It gladdens my heart to be able to serve my neighbor there and practice hospitality to all who walk through its doors.  And as more “customers” and new faces come into the shop every month it is even more rewarding to know the word is spreading about this valuable faith-based outreach in our community.  The clients that come in often express how grateful they are for the Baby Shop and I always hear those comments as prayers of thanks.
 
So, a few more facts: The MCBS serves low-income families in Montgomery County and Redford City. Clients must have at least one small child (or one on the way) and have to complete the short application and agree to meet the stipulations of the shop.  Approved families can shop at the Baby Shop once every two months.  They are given a list of items that they are allowed to get for each child. The list includes 2 dozen diapers, baby wash and lotion, baby wipes and several items of clothing, a used toy and children’s book. When larger items, such as strollers, cribs or car seats are requested we do our best to seek out those used items or in some cases purchase a particular item for a family.
 
And what do the volunteers do?  We spend time organizing the shop, (sorting clothes, packing up diapers, etc) and greet clients, take care of the minimal paper work and make sure clients and their families can find what they need.  Our goal is to give the shop a warm and welcoming look and to make the clients’ “shopping” experience as pleasant as we can. There is a small play area for children and sometimes volunteers entertain little ones while moms and dads select their items. Some of you had the opportunity to visit the MCBS about a year ago during Community Ministry month, and helped sort clothes and organize the clothes racks and bins.  Community Ministry at BPC continues to help support the Baby Shop with monetary donations to help stock the shop with new bottled baby care items and emergency items like porta-cribs/Pac’N Plays.
 
We have a group of about 6 regular volunteers from St. Paul’s and BPC who staff the MCBS on Mondays 10 am-Noon and Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00 PM.  But we can use more volunteers!  You can work a lot or a little in any given month.  And we can always use donations to help stock the shop.  Check out the Baby Shop website (https://www.themcbs.org) to find out the items we regularly need most.  New and gently used clothing and shoes for sizes 2T-5T are always in demand as are toys and books.  Consider stopping by the Baby Shop for a little tour.  Contact Melinda Winslow if you’re interested in volunteering or want come check us out.
 
Jama Hayes
Baby Shop Volunteer


Scripture Readings: Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19-35; John 10:1-10.

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