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DHS news release

Feb. 28, 2006


State contact: Patricia Feeny (503) 945-6955
Soroptimist contact: Kathy Verger Muscus (541) 267-5540

Human services offices and Sorpotimist clubs host statewide baby shower

Oregon communities are gearing up for what is sure to be the state's biggest baby shower.

On March 4, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) and 29 Soroptimist International clubs are hosting community showers throughout the state to collect baby basics such as diapers, clothing and bedding.

"We all have a role in helping Oregon's children thrive," said Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski. "This is an opportunity for communities to mobilize and provide a safety net to families who do not have the resources to meet their newborn's needs. All families benefit from strong, supportive communities."

This is the first year DHS and Soroptimist have worked together to coordinate the statewide showers.

Kathy Verger Muscus, a member of the Bay Area Soroptimist club in Coos County, said the idea grew from the successful event held in her county last year where more than 500 baby items were donated by the community.

"We wanted to reach out to the families in our community with kindness and warmth," said Verger Muscus. "Every mother should have the essentials to care for her baby."

The donated items will be given to families identified through local DHS offices, which collectively serve more than 940,000 clients each year.

Those who will benefit from the baby showers may include teen mothers who are in foster care, grandparents caring for grandchildren, foster mothers, single mothers who are struggling to provide shelter, food and health care for their children, women fleeing from domestic violence and the one in nine Oregon families who receive food stamps or Oregon Health Plan benefits.

The results of an online baby budget calculator show cost of the first `year of life can exceed $4,000 with more than $1,000 of that spent on disposable diapers.

Following are suggested items:

Newborn size disposable diapers Baby powder
Baby oil Baby shampoo
Pacifier Baby wipes
Receiving blankets/quilts Knitted booties/ hats, etc.
Bottles T-shirts/onesies for newborns
Socks for newborns Q-tips
Baby toys Pajamas
Car seat Teething supplies

Participating in this year's Community Baby Shower event are these Soroptimist clubs:


Portland North
Portland East
Hood River
The Emerald Empire
Junction City
Klamath Falls
Jefferson County
Coos Bay Area
Coquille Valley
Gold Beach
Rogue Valley Sunrise
Rogue Valley Starlight
River Valley


Note: Vancouver, SW Washington, Mt. Adams, and Camas-Washougal are also holding showers.