It is a new year and a time of new beginnings. New COVID-19 vaccines are here. CRS is actively helping our clients to schedule vaccine appointments. Many have been particularly hard hit by the economic impact of the pandemic, having suffered illness and loss of their minimum wage jobs. But help from our generous community was on the way.
Every year the Center for Refugee Services (CRS) welcomes some 90+ new American born babies to refugee families and to our vibrant mosaic community. We supply each with a layette of new items including:
- receiving blankets
- wash cloths
- multiple onesies or outfits
- a newborn toy and carboard book
- diapers, wipes
- baby shampoo in re-usable vinyl tote bag
When CRS shops for and stocks baby bags on our limited budget, we are frugal shoppers relying heavily on Dollar and Discount Stores. Even discounted, our bags can easily run around $60+. However, recently members of various Jewish organizations came to our aid again.
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) – SA, having previously held drives to supply us with: diapers, wipes, and feminine hygiene pads, as well as fund support, heard our call once again for help.
On April 21st 5 members of NCJW-SA delivered 52 magnificent baby bags with jewelry and mosaic gifts for the mothers as well. When a group of 60 members of the National Council of Jewish women put their heads, hearts, and efforts together, there is nothing they cannot accomplish.
Because our clients are principally young families from cultures in which large families are valued, we get to welcome lots of new babies each year. So many of our new babies come from Afghan and Eritrean families, parts of the world which are currently fraught with turmoil and great danger. What a beautiful way to welcome these new U.S. baby citizens and to honor their mothers as well.
Unlike CRS, NCJW-SA members were not frugal shoppers. Instead, they treated our families like they were their own and bought them beautiful, high quality clothes and baby essentials. Together they spent between $5,000 – $5,500 dollars or well over $100 per baby bag. Refugees gratefully and graciously receive so much used clothing, furniture, and household goods. It is so special for them to receive beautiful new items for their beautiful new American babies!
In addition to the baby bags, there were beautiful gifts for the mothers of these new babies. Honoring mothers often gets left out in the celebration and welcoming of new babies.
The Sisterhood of Agudas Achim provided beautiful bracelets for the mothers. One of the NCJW members, Susan Butler of ConBrio Glassworks & Mosaics, is an artist and teacher and provided mothers with a lovely mosaic heart. The mosaic heart in the bags was hand-crafted with love by women in Susan’s mosaic’s class. The note inside said, “on the occasion of the birth of your new baby, we are happy to present this beautiful heart to you, from our hearts to yours.”
We are so grateful for their on-going generosity to the refugee families who we serve.