Like all nonprofits, the Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee is struggling amid social distancing and other COVID-19 consequences with providing the charitable outreach that requires considerable effort even when there is no pandemic.
That challenge is confronting the club’s annual Community Baby Shower for young moms and moms-to-be who are in foster care or attend Compadre High School in the Tempe Union District.
“Our club was wondering what to do this year – cancel everything?” said Kiwanian Andi Pettyjohn, who has organized the showers annually. “But some of us didn’t want to cancel because the need is still great – perhaps greater than normal since all non-profits have been hurting because of the situation with COVID-19.”
COVID-19 has been a punch in the gut for the Ahwatukee Kiwanis Club.
It cost the club – and the community – the annual Easter Parade and related Spring Fling, the latter a major fundraiser for its work with the young moms and foster children in group homes.
But, Pettyjohn added that “thanks to a couple of generous corporate sponsors – Vision Management and Western Vistas Property Management – we are able to continue with our plans” for the shower.
“The baby shower will be very different this year in order to accommodate the safety measures in place for COVID-19,” she said.
“Instead of inviting these young moms to a baby shower event, baskets of new items will be made up for each person based on information received ahead of time with the baby’s gender, age and clothing size.
“Instead of them being able to ‘shop’ for free gently used clothing and necessities for their babies, these items will be chosen for them by volunteers, taking into consideration the growth of the child into larger sizes. All the gifts of new and used items will be delivered to them at the group homes or school.”
Leftover donations will be given to moms in crisis at the Phoenix Dream Center, UMOM, Tumbleweed and other shelters. Foster parents who are fostering babies will also benefit from your donations.
Pettyjohn and her fellow Kiwanians are hoping Ahwatukee residents will respond to their request for donations of new and gently used baby clothing and necessities for newborns through 5T. Items will be collecting until Aug. 16.
Pettyjohn stressed that the shower provides vital help for pregnant teens in foster care, as they have “no family to support her in her pregnancy, give her baby gifts or help with expenses and support.”
“A teen in foster care is alone herself and now she has or is expecting a baby that is not covered financially by the foster system because the baby is not a foster child,” Pettyjohn said.
Donations can be dropped off at Ahwatukee Swim & Tennis Center, 4700 E. Warner Road; Edward Jones, 3233 E. Chandler Blvd., Ste 16; Bartoli’s Cleaners, 4722 E. Ray Road, next to Target; Mountain View Lutheran Church, 11002 S. 48th St.
There are two other ways people can help. They can go to amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/26JUCAZSNMPG9?ref_=wl_share and buy new items that by default will be delivered to a volunteer’s house so the donor doesn’t need to worry about delivering them or dropping them off.
People also can make monetary donations at ahwatukeekiwanis.org