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Northland's Largest Baby Shower Helping Struggling Families

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: January 22, 2020 06:46 PM

A local christian radio station and St. Luke’s are giving back to families in need across the area with the Northland’s Largest Baby Shower effort.

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This is the second year the Life 97.3 radio station and hospital partner for this effort that takes place throughout the month of January.

The donations help provide essential and needed items for locations like the Women’s Care Center in Duluth, Lake Superior Life Care Center in Superior, Northwoods New Life Resource Center in Hayward, Options for Women Iron Range in Hibbing and Virginia, Breath of Life Center in Ashland, Violence Prevention Center in Grand Marais, and New Beginnings Pregnancy Care Center in Grand Rapids.

"Maybe they don't have the necessary means to buy brand new baby items for their children so they come to us," said Jackie LeBlanc, a counselor for the Women's Care Center in Duluth.

The Northland's Largest Baby Shower is addressing a need that is a reality for many families.

"I know firsthand what that can be and it can be a struggle, worrying about if my child is going to have a diaper tomorrow," said Samantha Anderson, a 21-year-old mom who has been helped through the Duluth Women's Care Center.

The donations care centers receive come from generous community members.

"We wanted to kind of have some fun with it but invite people to take part in it too by supporting our communities, new families and people in need of these items," said Jill Mikkelson, a office coordinator and on-air host for Life 97.3 radio.

St Luke's Pediatrics Office is one of several locations across the Twin Ports where people can drop off diapers, baby wipes, clothing and more that will benefit families in need.

"It helped me a lot throughout my pregnancy and after I was pregnant. if I needed wipes or diapers, I could come here," said Anderson. "In places like this, I believe they have touched a lot of lives."

Anderson's adorable almost one-year-old son Silas keeps her busy.

"I think a lot of them know that when they do come, they are generally valued by coming in here. That's kind of how we measure our success is by just helping the next woman that walks into our doors," said LeBlanc.

Tayteaona Boykin is another mom who has benefited from this effort.

Her beautiful son Jamarr was diagnosed with a heart condition at birth. At seven-months-old, he's had five surgeries. It's been a challenging situation for her family.

"It’s just like a giant support system if you don’t have that at home or around you," said Boykin.

The Duluth care center has stepped in during those difficult times.

"We were taking months off of work at a time so it ended up being a big resource for us," said Boykin.

They have their hearts towards the families and moms around here," said Anderson.

This speaks on how much the effort helps local families.

"It just goes to show what the Northland's Largest Baby Shower does. There are a lot of people that want to help those in need," said LeBlanc.

Members from the radio station have already heard stories from community members who have been getting involved in gathering donations.

"There was a lady who heard us talking about it on air and she went to Walgreens and she saw that they were having a big sale on some of the specific items we listed on our website and she said she just cleared out all of the shelves," said Mikkelson.

Throughout January, community members can drop off new baby items at the locations below:

-Duluth:  St. Luke’s Hospital lobby, St. Luke’s Pediatrics Office, St Luke’s Miller Creek Clinic, Cub Foods, Miller Hill Mall Office, Holy Cross Lutheran Church

-Superior: Central Assembly Superior

-Cloquet: Common Ground Coffee

-Chisholm:  Chisholm Baptist Church

-Hayward:  Hayward Wesleyan

-Ashland:  Salem Baptist Church

-Proctor:  The Landing Church

-Grand Rapids:  Inspirations Bookstore

-Grand Marais : Grand Marais Free Church

You can also donate via Amazon’s Baby Registry

The most needed items include:

-Infant clothing (onesies, sleepers, socks)

-24-month girls’ and boys’ clothing

-Feeding items (bottles, bibs, spoons, sippy cups)

-Nursing covers, Boppy nursing pillows

-Diapers, diaper bags, baby wipes

-Grocery or store gift cards

-Towels, wash cloths

On the first week of February is when the donations will be dropped off to the pregnancy care centers.

Credits

Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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