Ladies group celebrates young families

Group that participated in the Moms to Be tea, in North Vassalboro. (contributed photo)

by Roberta Barnes

When you hear tea party you might imagine a tea pot with tea cozy surrounded by teacups on saucers. The Moms to be Tea Party hosted by the ladies of Sew for a Cause was quite different.

May 6, 2023, was a time to celebrate the joy of new life at the St. Bridget Center, in Vassalboro. The kindness and all the work that went into that day grew from a discussion in January 2023 on how these ladies could celebrate young families. Aside from all the donated and handmade gifts that filled the center, were the warm smiles that began in the parking lot with the men from the American Legion directing vehicles. Rachel Kilbride, the organizer, was visibly present to greet attendees and move things along throughout the event.

When Moms to Be Tea was announced, people were asked to register by April 15, 2023, as the number of attendees was limited. Everyone checked in and received a name tag from the ladies who sat at a table just inside the front door.

Opposite the front door was a table on which sat three jars filled with pieces of candy, with a way to guess how many were inside each. Behind the jars was a board showing the planned times for different activities.

While babies are bundles of joy, they are not born with instruction manuals. Unless relatives or friends are close by to give support, a new Mom can feel alone. I heard one mom to be say, “I felt so alone.” This tea party not only helped new moms interact with each other, but to receive things to help with some of the basic baby needs. As I talked with various moms and moms to be, I also spoke with one of the three dads to be that I saw at the event.

Even though each baby is unique, there are some needs they all share. On one table close to the entrance were tote bags donated by one of the sponsors. Inside the bags were basic baby needs and a brochure showing ways that have kept other babies healthy and happy. A bundle of diapers could go along with the tote bag, and on a table close by were maternity pants.

Another table close by was filled with handmade baby hats and caps. The sparkle in the woman’s eyes as she watched attendees deciding which of her hats to take, I saw reflected in many eyes that day.

The huge open room in the center was filled with tables. Those in the middle held donated baby items and things to help the moms. Those on which handmade tote bags rested were kept covered until after lunch.

The tables at the back contained healthy foods and yummy home baked treats. One table to the right of the food tables offered handmade cloth frames for baby pictures. The larger donated baby items that were raffled off at the end of the event were behind the food tables.

Along the sides were tables with chairs for the attendees. From a seating plan, each of these had a number that was later used to keep the afternoon activities flowing smoothly.

Kindness and gratitude filled the center’s room with a joyful harmony that could be felt the moment you walked into the building. An infant sleeping peacefully in his mom’s arms was an example of that harmony. As I talked with different people about the event, I also heard such things as cool and fantastic.

Once the attendees were seated at their designated tables, sandwiches were brought in for lunch. As the number of a table was drawn, the people from that table would have their plate filled with the foods they wanted by the ladies behind the tables.

After lunch, attendees were challenged with sit down games such as the Baby Shower Word search and matching a wildlife mother with her baby. A bear and her cub was easy, but what is an Alpaca, a platypus, or a dove?

Once the games were finished, the handmade tote bags were revealed. Because all the materials were donated, each tote bag was different. As the number of a table was drawn, those sitting at that table could select the tote bag that went best with their baby.

Each tote bag was filled with handmade baby quilts, blankets, changing pads, bibs, and a stuffed toy. One of the ladies confirmed that each of the handmade items for each bag was carefully selected to go with the theme of the material used to create that tote bag. Other items such as wipes and a brochure of tips to keep a baby happy and healthy were also included in these tote bags.

The smiles that happened as items were removed from the bags added to the feelings in the center. Each adorable toy gave off an extra glow because of the joy woven in by the lady creating it and the sponsor donating the materials. That was the same with all the handmade things inside the tote bag, as well as the handmade tote bag.

(contributed photo)

This quilt showing “Dream Big Little One” is an example of hopes that went along with the sewing of each quilt and blanket.

None of this could have happened without the 50-plus ladies of Sew for a Cause donating their time and sewing skills. Besides these ladies there were over 29 sponsors ranging from businesses, organizations, and churches to individuals who also helped make this tea party a reality.


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