The Baby Store of Montgomery County is open for business to local residents in Montgomery County and now Radford as well.
Located in the basement of the St. Paul United Methodist Church’s activity building, a room filled with diapers, clothing, toys, food and equipment to care for infants and toddlers up to size 5T is available to help needy families.
The Baby Store was to be a resource to improve the health status of children and to support new parents. Baby Store coordinator and St. Paul United Methodist Church member, Joyce Bishop, says the first year of the Baby Store has been productive but stills hopes for more awareness about this community resource.
Bishop continued the efforts along with Melanie Winslow of the Blacksburg Presbyterian Church as a mission after funding was lost by the Children’s Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) in early 2016.
The collaborative mission between the two churches is to provide assistance in obtaining basic needs of small children when there is a hardship for parents to get these necessities.
The two churches are able to solicit donations of goods and gather fellow church members to volunteer.
Bishop said, “We now have ten volunteers and have served around 100 clients in the last year.”
Located at 220 W. Main St. in downtown Christiansburg, any family in need of items to nourish and care for a baby or toddler can stop by Mondays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and Wednesday 2-4 p.m. to complete an application for screening.
Families can be referred to the Baby Store from the New River Community Action, CHIP or Montgomery County Social Services.
The family must provide proof of residence of Montgomery County or Radford.
Clients are allowed to visit the Baby Store once every two weeks. Each family can receive up to four outfits of baby and toddler clothes up to size 5T, which are typically stocked.
It can also provide books, toys, shoes, ointments, diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, lotion and baby wash. For the upcoming winter session, each child may receive a winter hat and gloves. There are some non-perishable food items such as formula and baby food. If requested, the Baby Store has a limited quantity of baby equipment such as high chairs, cribs, strollers, etc. All items are no cost.
The Baby Store is staying fairly stocked. Nonetheless donations from individuals and groups would be appreciated. It is not set up to accept any monetary donations. Diapers, wipes, gently used or new clothing items as well as shoes would be needed on a continuous basis. Donation of larger items such as baby bathtubs, playpens, strollers and cribs to the Baby Store would be most beneficial to have in the Baby Store’s inventory.
Currently, there is a greater need for socks, shoes, diapers, baby lotion and body washes along with diaper rash ointments. The Baby Store has a good supply of smaller nursing baby blankets but, with the colder weather approaching, would greatly appreciate donations of crib or child-sized blankets.
The Baby Store is also encouraging a good dental routine for babies. Bishop would like the Baby Store to distribute toothbrushes and toothpastes to all clients. Bishop said, “We are seeking donations of child appropriate toothbrushes and would like to work towards a partnership with one or more local dentists.”
“We are happy for any and all help we can get. Donations can be dropped off during Baby Store hours or at our churches,” Bishop said.
For more information, please call St. Paul UMC at 382-2410 or Blacksburg Presbyterian Church at 552-2504.