April 25, 2017

On Saturday April 8th, under the leadership of Dr. LaTouche-Howard, students from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health’s Principles of Community Health I class (HLTH391) along with Miracle City Church hosted a Community Baby Shower for Baltimore City residents.  Over 500 moms attended and in conjuction with 140 volunteers gifts, diapers, and clothes were handed out.  A lucky mother even left with the grand prize, a year’s worth of diapers.

Miracle City Church has developed an ongoing campaign in Baltimore to "Serve the City".  This year they recognized the need for more resources for women in the greater Baltimore area, especially for women of low socioeconomic status who depend on places such as WIC and other free or reduced cost resources to survive and raise their families. One of the greatest needs for new mothers in this income bracket are diapers, as WIC does not provide this resource.

Students from Dr. LaTouche Howard’s class worked closely with Miracle City Church leaders, Ms. Susanna McPhaull and Ms. Susan Brown to create a school-wide diaper drive which yielded over 2500 diapers. Ms. EmmaOroxam (’18) recalls of the experience-  “Being able to work with the church leaders gave me a real life experience of what Community Health work is like. It was very humbling dueto all the hard work that went into the shower, and having to coordinatewith so many people.”  Ms. Sabrina Pasta (’18) taught her classmates how to repackage the diapers collected in the school for redistribution for the mothers in need. Students also created a resource guide for mothers.

At the Community Baby Shower, Dr. Horowitz (Center for Health Literacy) and her team conducted focus groups with some of the expectant mothers. Students collected and donated wonderful gifts to be provided to the attendees, such as hand made blankets, baby bags filled with baby supplies, and a baby food blender. At the shower, students assisted in the registration and greeting process, data collection, and provided health demonstrations for the women and their families. Students were able to get hands on experience in community partnership and engagement.  Ms. Beth Goldberg (’18) says of the experience- “I feel so lucky to have been able to be a part of the planning of the event, as it gave me a glimpse into the turbulence of navigating working with the community. I also feel so privileged to have been able to work with my amazing classmates, as we truly became a team and worked together, all with the common goal of the community.”  Ms. Cierra Bryant also reflected on the experience- "Planning the baby shower was an amazing experience. It makes me excited to focus on community building as a career." 

The partnership with Miracle City Church will continue. Other students in HLTH 391 are serving as student consultants to the church leaders to help them better understand the needs and concerns of the surrounding community.

 

 

 

Related People
Sylvette La Touche-Howard, Alice Horowitz
Related Degree: 
Bachelor of Science, Community Health