Community banded together to collect goods for new mothers
by: Special to, Project Baby Shower coordinator Patti Hanks, left, presents Wal-Mart representatives with a certificate thanking them for their support.

For Patty Hanks of the Sandy Kiwanis Club, collecting baby-care items for new mothers is not just a project.

'It's a labor of love,' she says.

Kiwanis International announced its universal goal for all clubs - Young Children: Priority One - and the Sandy Kiwanis interpreted this directive by creating the Operation: Baby Shower project.

The club and its volunteers reached out to the community through local businesses, including the UPS store, Geren's Farm Supply and Napa Auto Parts, to obtain donations of cash and baby-related goods.

The community of Sandy came through with flying colors, project coordinators said, with individual donations from people such as Diane Miller and Sherry Holloway, who sewed quilt after quilt, and help from businesses including Wal-Mart and one of the largest donors, the Sandy Fred Meyer. Other donors included the Clackamas Costco and the Clackamas Target store.

Twenty-five layette sets were assembled, and in a special ceremony at the Kiwanis' Thursday, Sept. 28, meeting, they were officially donated to the Sandy Pregnancy Resource Center. The sets included clothes, handmade quilts, bottles, diapers and much more - anything a new mother could need.

Hanks, who spearheaded the project, could not keep the emotion from her voice as she listed name after name of all the people who dedicated time and energy to the project to thank them for their efforts.

Concurrently, the club also implemented its 'First Book' project, in which volunteers and Kiwanis members gave their time to deliver, read and then give a brand new book to a kindergarten student. More than 160 children received these gifts.

The Kiwanis Division lieutenant governor made an appearance at the Sept. 28 meeting to praise the 'First Book' project and said the Kiwanis Club of Sandy is 'leading the way' for other clubs to follow.

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