Baby Box Initiative

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PITTSBURG, Ks. — Becoming a new parent is never easy – and it can be even harder for ones who have to deal with job or food insecurity. A non-profit in Southeast Kansas is providing some help for young mothers. Help in the form of what’s called the Baby Box Initiative.

Araceli Salas, Pittsburg Resident, said, “That’s just something that’s helpful to the parents that probably aren’t able to get those things or do those things for themselves.”

After a year of preparation and research, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas has launched a new maternity program.

Julie Laverack, CHCSEK Patient Education and Support Manager, said, “We have these new baby boxes that are going to primarily teenage moms.”

The boxes themselves are stuffed with items for the mother and the baby. Along with clothes, toys and blankets, the boxes come with educational material for the parents. This way those in need can be prepared.

“We’re focusing on teenage moms and any mom who is vulnerable due to job security, food insecurities and we really want to provide them with the support they need so they can raise a healthy baby.”

The boxes even come with a mattress and sheets for the baby, helping promote better sleep habits.

“Usually they don’t have the adequate room space, and we want to prevent co-sleeping and bed sharing and promote safe sleep.”

Taking care of one more obstacle for new mothers.

“Traditionally teenage moms haven’t graduated high school yet and we want to support them while they’re getting their GED or continuing their education, and we want to see them go onto trade school and better their lives for them and their babies.”

Helping impact the lives of families in Southeast Kansas for the better.

Araceli Salas, Pittsburg Resident, said, “Just with little ones it’s hectic and you know it can be a little exhausting and chaotic and those people who take the extra mile to help out, that’s one thing that helps.”

Folks wanting to apply to the program or see if they qualify – need to contact the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas or partnering agency.

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