DETROIT (WWJ) – It started nearly four years ago, with some royal excitement and a thought.
Princess Catherine had just announced that Prince George of England was on the way. Karen Whitefoot of Goodrich, who is somewhat of a royal watcher, was paying attention.
“Wouldn’t it be nice,” she thought, “if all babies could receive the royal treatment?”
That idea has turned into an annual baby shower that provides diapers, wipes and baby clothes and blankets for Detroit moms in need.
The shower will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 19, at Metropolitan United Methodist Church in Detroit. You can wear your best hat and favorite outfit and bring along brand new baby items, diapers or wipes.
The event is free and features a bevy of food and music and a speech this year from Detroit singer and cancer survivor Stewart Francke.
The items go to the shelter at Cass Community Services run by the Reverend Faith Fowler.
“We literally fill a bus of things that come in,” said Fowler, “I mean…clothing and toys and strollers. Just everything imaginable that you would see at a regular baby shower to offer a Royal welcome to the children.”
The shower each year, Fowler said, is a “huge help” for the pregnant women and new moms who often end up at the Cass Community Services Shelter.
“Some of them are coming from domestic violence, some of them have burned bridges with families, some of them have mental health issues. It isn’t just one story. There are as many different stories as there are different people.”
Sometimes, the cupboards are bare.
“Imagine telling someone you’re out of diapers, or you don’t have any wipes or you don’t have any formula,” said Fowler. “There are lots of hard things we have to do, those of us involved with homeless people, but to not have those basic things to offer…some days are harder than others.”
Those who bring the diapers and wipes receive raffle tickets for a variety of prizes that include gift baskets, luxury items like lotions from Rodan and Fields and gift certificates from area businesses.
Fowler said the items will help women and children beyond those who end up at the 300-bed rotating shelter.
“We’re also able to supply some of the women and families in the neighborhood who aren’t homeless, but are poor and not receiving the kind of gifts that middle class or upper class people would enjoy.”
Those who are unable to attend the shower can donate online at this link.