By Anne Havin
The Catholic Daughters of the Americas Catholic Charities Baby Shower was a complete success! I think this was our best year ever, as a result of very generous donations and the attendance of a special guest, one of Catholic Charities’ mothers, as well as our State Representative for the San Diego Diocese, Melody Ciaravino.
I really want to extend a special thanks to our own court and particularly to Dina and Kyle Howard (Sam & Rosa Caeti’s daughter and son-in-law) who made a very large contribution of clothes ranging from ages newborn to 2 years. We are eternally grateful to the Howards and all of the other ladies at Court #2520 for graciously donating the best of the best to our mothers and families in need.
On January 29th, we had arrived at Catholic Charities at 9:00 a.m. and it seemed that the schedule was changed to 10:00 a.m. However, this gave us plenty of time to set up before the other Courts arrived. The extra time also gave us an opportunity to meet our special guest and mother. She is a young woman who is married and a mother to 5 children. She appeared to be very courteous, grateful and yet humble. We were delighted to be able to talk about child-rearing stories with our special guest and realized that we, as women, had much in common.
As other ladies started to arrive, more baby clothes, blankets, diapers & toys were set out and everyone met our special guest finding it equally enjoyable exchanging stories. The CDA organizer of the baby shower, Rose Parknaven, thanked everyone for their wonderful contributions and introduced our dignitaries and our guest mother, Halima. Halima spoke about her experience with the Catholic Church through Catholic Charities. Her first baby was born with Downs Syndrome and her family had abandoned her. She turned to the Catholic Church who opened their arms to her with multiple avenues of assistance. She had continually articulated her gratitude to the Catholic Church as if they were her second family in the absence of her birth family. I think about how I had tears in my eyes just listening to her witness. I really felt honored to get to know this very special lady. There are many anonymous heroes in this world and we were privileged to meet one of them that day.
After our special guest spoke, Lizzette and Wendy talked about their role with Catholic Charities. A very good question was asked about contributing throughout the year and Lizzette said that as the donations are greatly appreciated the supply only lasts up to 3 months, as the needs are great, especially during these financially difficult times. They would also like to focus on receiving items for babies that are newborn to 1 year as there are other avenues of charities who donate to older children’s needs.
All in all, it was a great experience. It is so critical to give to such a worthy cause where women are helping other women and children in need.