SKOWHEGAN — New and expecting parents received baby-related gifts and other support Saturday at a community baby shower hosted by Kennebec Valley Community Action Program and other health advocates.

The shower, held at the Centenary United Methodist Church on Dr. Mann Road, drew mostly residents of Somerset County, but also some from Kennebec and Franklin counties, according to Kristen Plummer, community coordinator for KVCAP’s Somerset Family Enrichment Council. Nearly 200 people registered for the shower.

New and expecting parents took away a “Welcome Baby Bag” packed full of free diapers, clothing, wooden toys, bibs, baby shampoo, homemade blankets and other items. Gently used baby strollers also were given away, as were dozens of door prizes including new car seats and strollers.

“We got diapers, wipes, books,” said Eva Ramsdell, who was holding her 1-month-old baby, Renesnee.

Ramsdell and her husband, Dillon Ramsdell, both 19, said the gifts they received and resources they learned about Saturday were very helpful.

“It’s pretty cool,” Dillon Ramsdell said, adding that he loves being a dad. “It’s great. I love every minute of it.”


Many expecting and new parents perused the tables hosted by Kennebec Valley Community Action Program and other health advocates Saturday at the community baby shower.

Dillon Ramsdell’s mother, Robin Andrew, said both of Renesnee’s parents are being treated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the community baby shower was supportive and beneficial for them.

Eva and Dillon Ramsdell hold their baby, Renesnee, at a community baby shower hosted Saturday by Kennebec Valley Community Action Program and its partners and held at the Centenary United Methodist Church in Skowhegan. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

“I think it’s important that more events like this for parents that need such resources is available more often,” Andrew said.

Somerset County has the highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the state, according to KVCAP’s Plummer. Babies from birth to age 1 experience the highest percentage of child abuse and neglect, she said.

KVCAP organized the community baby shower five years ago as a way to help support new and expecting parents, welcome them as part of the community and let them know they are valued and supported and that if they need anything, they can reach out to KVCAP and its partners.

“Everyone here has something to offer new families,” Plummer said.

Many of those community partners had tables at the shower, which was held in the church’s fellowship hall. They offered educational materials, gifts, advice and other resources.


Miranda Harris (at left) of Madison and her niece, Kailee Weeks of Skowhegan, hold Weeks’ children, Blair, 2 months, and Serenity, 1 ½ years, as they wait to be ushered into the Centenary United Methodist Church in Skowhegan Saturday for the community baby shower. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

Partners included Redington-Fairview General Hospital, Northern Light Inland and Sebasticook Valley hospitals, MaineGeneral Medical Center’s WIC (Women, Infants, Children) supplemental nutrition program, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Kennebec Behavioral Health, American Red Cross, Family Violence Project, Maine Families, Early Intervention for ME, Children’s Discovery Museum and Help ME Grow.

Officials were available to talk with new and expecting parents about issues such as safe sleep, breastfeeding, home visiting, health services, car seat safety and self-care for parents.

Jim Barto, a member of the Methodist Church’s board of trustees, was helping out at the event, as were other church members.

“It seems like it goes over very well every year,” Barto said. “It’s well-organized and directed. I think it’s a good thing for the community and our church always welcomes people.”

Church Pastor Jennifer Reed described the event as hopeful, as people were able to come out of their silos, be together and help one another.

Plummer said she loves working on the event.

“It’s pretty amazing,” she said. “It’s one of my absolutely favorite things I’ve ever done in my entire work life,” she said.

Related Headlines

Join the Conversation

Please sign into your account to participate in conversations below. If you do not have an account, you can register or subscribe. Questions? Please see our FAQs.