For decades, families celebrated new life by gathering and playing games, giving presents and enjoying the company of friends and family. For many, a baby shower offers relief as they adapt to their new role in life. Others find it a necessity to afford all the child’s needs. Let’s face it, diapers, wipes and formula are expensive over time.

For Veterans in the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, some much needed relief came just in time. Back in July, the only thing brighter than the sun were the smiles on each parent’s face as they ventured through our Drive-Through Veteran Baby Shower.

Diapers were among the many shower gifts given.

Though this year’s event had no games or prizes, it offered many mothers and fathers a touching reminder that they are not alone.

“They appreciated the thoughtfulness of the VA and the community donors to create a safe celebration for them. One mom-to-be, who does not have family nearby, felt that the hand-made baby blankets were especially heartfelt. She was in awe that someone had gone to the effort to make them, like family would do,” said Frances Mahoney, Women Veteran Coordinator at VASNHCS.

Smiles and tears of parents and volunteers

The VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System parking lot was packed with cars, diapers, blankets and expecting parents. The Annual Veterans Baby Shower brought smiles and tears to parents and volunteers alike. Their hard work and creative planning provided a safe and inventive way to proceed with this special, one-of-a-kind event.

This was the third Annual Baby Shower that VASNHCS has put on for Veteran parents. Through the years, hard work and dedication, staff and our local community have built lasting bonds. The voices of many local and national supporters made the decision to move forward with planning for the baby shower easier. Both staff and volunteers expressed a strong desire to help our soon-to-be parents.

Warmth and kindness of VA family

At the end of the day staff, volunteers and recipient families were near tears. Many families had loved ones in other states that could not travel. While they wouldn’t have the baby shower they had imagined, they found warmth and kindness from their VA family.

Ryan Coverdell is a public affairs specialist with the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System.

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