Story by Dupont Park Church Staff
Members of Allegheny East Conference’s Dupont Park church in Washington, D.C., were disappointed when they had to suspend their Community Baby Shower (CBS) and Back to School Giveaway, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several months into the community’s new normal of social distancing, and after much prayer and discussion over the church’s spiritual obligation to the community, church members started planning the event.
Dupont Park’s Inner-City Ministries leader, Lamont Bailey, says, “Our goal [was] simple: to eliminate the choice parents have to make—deciding between what’s best for their kids and best for their budget.”
Valerie Freeman, marketing manager for Inner-City Ministries, adds, “We knew that serving God also meant serving others, and this was another way to share the message of God’s love through giving, and that our church was a dwelling place for love.”
Church members donated diapers—an essential item not covered by many government assistance programs—wipes, baby clothing and 100 backpacks filled with school supplies. But the group still needed an additional 15,000 diapers to meet their goal.
Volunteers prayerfully continued to reach out for donations and were able to collect some 17,200 diapers, books from local libraries and other items to meet community needs.
“We often limit our capacity by forgetting that if we partner with Christ and have faith, all things are possible,” says Freeman. “The team learned an important lesson throughout this venture: If we pray for rain, we should automatically bring an umbrella, for this is a reflection of our faith. God answers prayers.”
In October, the church held their CBS event and provided essential items to 223 new and expectant moms and families at a Drive-By Community Shower and Back to School Giveaway.
Prayer warriors greeted and prayed with each mother or family that entered the CBS parade. Organizers report that the attendees appreciated how church members doted on them and the impending birth of their babies.
The highlight of the event was a pregnant mother with a huge baby bump who bravely walked into the CBS with a friend, not knowing what to expect. This walk-in mother left enthusiastically because she received bags of the things she needed for her baby. “Dupont Park CBS staff supported and loved every mom with each bag given,” says Freeman.