What is Baby’s First Christmas?
Every year, Lynn Community Health Center’s Obstetrics and Pediatric staff host its annual “Baby’s First Christmas” for the families of babies born to Health Center patients in the past year. This popular event is attended by about 100 parents and their children, as well as volunteers, staff, and local officials. For many families, this is will be the highlight of the holiday season. Consider:
- 460 babies were born to health center patients last year.
- 95% are low-income according to Federal Poverty Guidelines. 60% live below the poverty line ($22,050 for a family of 4).
- At least one third of their families struggle to put food on the table each week
These families have shockingly few resources, but, like all parents, want their children to experience the joy of the holiday season. Baby’s First Christmas is a joyful celebration of life, love, and the spirit of giving.
Baby’s First Christmas is a party with a purpose
Families come to a party where they are served a hot meal, and gifts are given to babies, their siblings, and their parents. Santa pays a visit, and there are raffle prizes. Families also benefit in other ways that promote healthy lives:
Making Connections: Many of our families, particularly immigrant families, live in significant isolation. This event is one of the many ways we work to build community and support among families.
Preventive Care: Most families are uninsured or underinsured, and are often afraid to seek routine medical care for fear of incurring debt. Baby’s First Christmas helps the Health Center promote its message that we care for everyone in our community, regardless of ability to pay. It is crucial that once a baby is born, parents see the Health Center as a resource for building healthy lives.
Empowerment: For many families, this will be the only Holiday celebration they will have. This may be the only gift their children receive. Helping parents feel that they are providing for their children helps them focus on the positive.
How you can help
Make a gift. $3,000 per year feeds more than 300 guests, gives each family a $10 gift certificate to the local supermarket, purchases strollers and other new baby items as door prizes, and give each baby and additional siblings a gift.
Donate Brand New Gifts for Baby: We create gift bags for each family, as well as put together baskets for door prizes. Items needed are:
- One-piece “sleeper” pajamas
- Small infant toys, such as a teether or rattle