Healthy Start hosts Community Baby Shower

Posted 5/17/24

More than 100 families turned out for the Healthy Start Community Baby Shower ...

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Healthy Start hosts Community Baby Shower


OKEECHOBEE – More than 100 families turned out for the Healthy Start Community Baby Shower in the Indian River State College Dixon-Hendry Center on May 17.

Health Start Community Liaison Dawn Lawrence said the event was made by possible by the support and generous donations from the community.

Event sponsors included:

  • Children’s Services Council,
  • Pregnancy Center of Okeechobee,
  • Seacoast Bank,
  • Early Learning Coalition,
  • CWR Contracting,
  • Sunshine Health,
  • The Children’s Movement of Okeechobee,
  • Florida Community Health Centers,
  • Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company,
  • Okeechobee County School Board and

The baby shower was open to pregnant mothers and those with children under the age of 1. Participants visited booths for educational information and free baby supplies. Each booth also had a gift basket or prize to be given away in a raffle.

Booths included: Martha’s House, Sunshine Health, Early Learning Coalition, Pregnancy Center of Okeechobee, Healthy Start, SeacoastBank, Connect, Okeechobee County Schools Migrant Education, Healthy Start Doulas, Our Village, Florida Health/WIC, New Horizons, Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network, Everglades, Florida Department of Health, The Children’s Movement, Florida Community Health Center, Hibiscus Children’s Center, Easter Seals, 211 Connect, Florida Kidcare, Treasure Coast Food Bank, Hanley Foundation, HCA Florida Raulerson Hospital, Chobee Clubhouse, Safe Kids and Healthy Start Team Dad.

At one booth, Healthy Start doulas explained the free services they offer to new mothers. A doula is a person trained to provide emotional and physical support as well as education to pregnant women and their families. A doula provides comfort with skills like breathing, relaxation techniques, massage and suggestions for different laboring positions. They also provide after birth help and advice on things such as breast feeding.

After visiting each of the 26 booths – and getting their cards punched at each – the families were escorted to the porch area where each family was allowed to choose one “big” gift from items such as cribs, bassinets and breast pumps.

Outside, Safe Kids had a drive-thru booth to conduct safety checks on car seats and provide car seats to those who needed them. Ronda Cervilli, Safe Kids Florida Coordinator, said Safe Kids Treasure Kids obtained a grant from State Farm to provide new car seats to families in need in Okeechobee, Martin and St. Lucie counties. Officers from Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office and Okeechobee County Fire Rescue checked car seats to make sure they were in good condition and installed properly. If a car seat needed to be replaced or if a family did not have enough car seats, they were provided with new car seats. Officers also taught the parents how to properly install the car seats in their vehicles.

Healthy Start, Community Baby Shower