People are invited to drop off baby items now through Oct. 17 to help stock A Baby’s Closet, a local program that allows parents in financial need to earn coupons to select baby clothing, a crib, a car seat and baby supplies.
The program, which is provided through Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County, is especially in need of crib sheets, baby wipes, teething rings, nail clippers, baby wash and other items.
Items can be dropped off at major sponsor PHP, 8101 W Jefferson Blvd.; Peerless Cleaners’ eight Fort Wayne locations; Curves, 5909 Bluffton Road; dentist Dr. Steven Ellinwood, 5725 Maplecrest Road, Suite 1; HearCare Audiology, 5933 E State Blvd.; and local YMCA branches, Central at 1020 Barr St.; Jorgensen at 10313 Aboite Center Road; Parkview Family at 10001 Dawsons Creek Blvd.; and Renaissance Pointe at 2323 Bowser Ave.
The program plans a Celebration Day on Oct. 18: Anyone bringing a baby item to DeBrand Fine Chocolates, 10105 Auburn Park Drive, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day will receive a free piece of chocolate.
The A Baby’s Closet program works to help parents “safely and adequately” care for their children, it says on the program’s website at www.associatedchurches.org.
Parents receive coupons they can redeem for baby items by learning about nutrition and parenting, going to prenatal and child medical appointments, attending childbirth classes and ensuring their child has all necessary immunizations. Some parents also earn coupons by pursuing their own education.
The program is housed at First Christian Church, 4800 S. Calhoun St. Hours for parents’ shopping are 2-5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.
Last year, it served 1,453 mothers, including about 800 who were new mothers, said Molly Gray, Associated Churches' director of communications.