LORAIN — Their shopping carts were overflowing with needed baby items to donate to the Resource Mothers program at Mercy Hospital.
It’s not unusual for them, as they shop once a month to fill the supply closet, which assists pregnant, low-income or single mothers get the resources they need.
It is a sight that makes others take notice, though.
A former recipient saw what the women were doing and was moved to make a purchase of her own to donate to the cause — a case of baby wipes.
“You never know whose path you might be crossing, or what their need might be to give back,” said Catherine Pastron, chairwoman of the II Century Council’s annual baby shower luncheon, which is May 8.
This year, the date and location of the baby shower has changed, but the message remains the same — helping mothers through Resource Mothers and Women and Children’s Health programs of Mercy Hospital.
The shower has been held for about 40 years.
About 200 people turn out for the event annually with all of the donated items going to the Resource Mother’s Program, From getting immunizations, car seats, infant CPR training to providing diapers, wipes and pacifiers, the program fulfills a lot of needs.
II Century Council is associated with the Mercy Regional Foundation out of Mercy Hospital. The group has one fundraiser: the baby shower.
The event was moved to May to coincide with Mother’s Day, Pastron said.
“We’re hoping to bring more attention to the event and encourage people to bring their moms, aunts or sisters with them,” she said. “It’s a great way to get out and meet other women, and the ticket price doesn’t exceed what you would spend if you were to go out to lunch. It’s also a way to help women and children and raise the quality of life for them.”
Cost for the event is $15 per person and an unwrapped baby item, such as diapers, baby care items, clothing, blankets, baby food and gift cards.
A full list of needed items can be found on the II Century Council of Mercy Hospital Facebook page.
Gently used items, such as high chairs and strollers, and handmade items, such as blankets and quilts, also are accepted.
In addition to the baby shower, the group also receives a grant from the Elks in Lorain, which is used to purchase items monthly for the Resource Mother’s Program.
“The recipients are new moms who are coming up short and just trying to make ends meet,” Pastron said. “They show up with their infants, and the hospital tracks their progress, shots and helps with issues that might come up, such as with feeding,” she said.
No one is turned away from the program, which assists more than 1,000 women a year, according to Pastron.
She became involved in II Century Council nearly 20 years ago.
“The baby shower is always a giving event,” she said. “It’s helping people who might not be able to help themselves.”
The group also has donated robes for women getting mammograms, and contributed to Blessing House and Soul to Sole.
Pastron encourages people to come to the shower because it does so much good for so many women.
“Some of these girls just have no clue because they are young, first-time mothers, and they may not have anyone there to show them,” she said. “This event lets them know there is help and there are people willing to help.”
The luncheon also includes 50/50 raffles and basket raffles.
No tickets will be sold at the door. To purchase tickets, call Esser at (440) 282-5227.