KILLEEN — It was all about the babies.
Over three dozen new mothers and mothers-to-be gathered at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center Feb. 28 for a special baby shower.
The event was sponsored by Operation Shower and H-E-B stores around the Fort Hood area, especially for those whose spouses or partners were deployed.
Moms brought their newborns and many of the volunteers from H-E-B and Operation Shower enjoyed a chance to cuddle the little ones while their moms filled their plates at the buffet or created a special bib which would be judged for a prize.
“It’s a typical baby shower,” said Tamra Jones of H-E-B. There were games, raffles and giveaways, along with food and music.
The H-E-B stores provided not only the food and many of the gifts for the new moms but also volunteers to help serve and help the mothers.
Leora Fuhler is the volunteer coordinator for Operation Shower. She had a chance to cuddle 2-week-old Blaire Davis while her mother went to the buffet.
“We rely on local volunteers,” Fuhler said.
Operation Shower is a national nonprofit organization started in 2007 when founder LeAnn Morrissey decided she wanted to do something to give back to military families. She had relatives in the military who were deployed and she had been sending care packages and participating in other activities.
“I felt I was not making a difference,” Morrissey said. Asking for advice from her relatives, the suggestion she send cards to pregnant wives of deployed military members sparked an idea.
“I know what to give at baby showers,” Morrissey said. She also realized giving a baby shower for those whose spouse or partner was deployed would improve morale among those military members.
“When you’re deployed, it helps to know somebody’s looking out for the expectant mother,” Morrissey said.
Alexa Archuleta was eying items on a table while holding 2-month-old Elliott. “I’d really like that bouncer,” she said of the prize.
Elliott was actually having a chance to get to know his dad, who just returned from a deployment in South Korea. “This is a great way of getting to meet other Army wives and find out what the military has to offer families.”
While the moms had their arms full with their little ones, they needed carts to take the bounty from the baby shower to their cars.
Each mom received a “shower in a box” as Morrissey described the large boxes filled with a diaper bag, toys, books and other necessities. “It’s our signature gift. It’s everything a mother would register for.”
Other gifts included a unique baby carrier and diapers.
Briana Corey, while holding 2-week-old William, thought the event was great. “Not everyone gets to have a baby shower,” she said.
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