Operation Shower celebrates and honors military families by providing joyful baby showers for military moms-to-be.
Last month included a very special day for 40 military families as the moms-to-be got to experience what many women take for granted, their baby shower. Operation Shower, in conjunction with Birdies for the Brave, put on their 20th baby shower event in Los Angeles this week at Riviera Country Club during the Northern Trust Open. This “A Star is Born” themed event was hosted by actress Sarah Michelle Gellar and was sponsored in part by Carousel Designs, Pottery Barn Kids and Carl’s Jr. with decorations designed by Jen Sbranti of Hostess with the Mostess, the go-to online source for party and shower tips and ideas.
Operation Shower is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and honoring military families by providing joyful baby showers for military moms-to-be to ease the burden of deployment or in cases where spouses are seriously injured. “Operation Shower was created specifically because typically military moms are the ones who hold it all together at home,” says LeAnn Morrissey, Operation Shower Founder and Chief Shower Officer. “Without spouses by their side, deployed to another part of the world, these moms deserve our support, our thanks, our love and an opportunity to celebrate together.”
The moms are greeted at each event by event coordinators and volunteers whose goal is to make these women feel special and loved and well taken care of. Each event includes a panel of speakers, most of whom have some military connection and share personal stories with the ladies, while others speak on prenatal and infant healthcare. Some events feature live music or other entertainment (this LA event was lucky enough to have singer Michelle Penn).
But what the events have become known for is their generosity. There are several giveaways of items like baby bathtubs and wagons but most items are gifted to all of the moms in attendance. Each military mom is given Operation Shower’s signature “Shower in a Box,” which contains anything and everything from diaper bags, clothes and toys to books and lotion. And each lucky lady at this week’s event also became the proud owner of a brand new crib donated by Pottery Barn Kids.
Operation Shower relies solely on donations to put on these memorable events and gifts for the moms-to-be. While many of us can’t donate 40 high chairs, there are many ways to help. Just $10 can help provide a pack of diapers to one mom. A gift of $300 will help fill diapers bags for all 40 moms. These monetary donations can be made through the Operation Shower website. Much like a traditional baby registry, the Operation Shower Amazon Wish List provides more opportunities to purchase items that will be given to the moms.
Throwing a fundraising party with friends is another great way to make a difference. Free printable party decorations are downloadable from the Operation Shower website. The site also has a complete list of donation and volunteering ideas. Do you own a company that can donate product and would like to get involved? Contact Operation Shower directing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Operation Shower and to find out how you can get involved visit operationshower.org.
Sharon Garofalow is a mom blogger in Orange County. See more of her work at Cupcakes and Cutlery.
photos by Missy Marie Photography