More than 400 expecting and new parents and their support people attended the third annual Somerset Community Baby Shower on June 11 at Centenary United Methodist Church in Skowhegan. The event was hosted by Kennebec Valley Community Action Program’s Somerset Enrichment & Prevention Council and the Skowhegan church. Submitted photo

More than 400 expecting and new parents and their support people attended the third annual Somerset Community Baby Shower on June 11 at Centenary United Methodist Church in Skowhegan.

The free event was hosted by Kennebec Valley Community Action Program’s Somerset Enrichment & Prevention Council and the Skowhegan church.

“To see an entire community gather together in support and celebration of new and expecting parents was heart-warming,” Jennifer Reed, the church’s pastor and member of the KVCAP Board of Directors, said in a news release from KVCAP. “Each guest was welcomed with a gift bag stuffed with the basic essentials: baby wash, diapers, reading books, burp cloths, a handmade baby blanket, and a new pair of baby sneakers. There were drawings and giveaways that included infant car seats, strollers, pack and plays and clothing. Hundreds of diapers were also given away. We are already looking forward to next year.”

More than 50 volunteers and community partners assisted with all aspects of the event, including sharing information and resources, organizing clothing, helping with set-up and clean-up, serving food, and other essential tasks.

Anna Court, another KVCAP Board member, volunteered again this year. “I love volunteering at the annual baby shower. I work in the clothes area where we have free newborn and baby clothes to give away, and I get to smile at lots of babies and interact with fathers and mothers to be. The event is a moving demonstration of what can be achieved when a whole community comes together to put on a positive and joyful event. I’m also impressed that people attend from all over central Maine, and some from even farther away.”

Core funding for this event was provided by the United Way of Eastern Maine.

Maine Needs, a nonprofit organization in Portland, donated numerous baby items, and individual donors also provided financial support.