Valentine's Baby Shower Benefits Newborns in Need


Top: Elaine Pontious and Judy Giovanoni of Newborns in Need collect the many donations from the motherhouse staff at the Valentine's Baby Shower.

A baby rattle-shaped cake, pastel décor and a table of newborn necessities filled the motherhouse dining room. The occasion--the annual Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet's Valentine's Day Baby Shower. Every year Sister Marion Renkens, CSJ, motherhouse administrator, invites a local organization that serves mothers and children to speak to the staff. In turn, the staff members donate baby items for the cause.

This year's organization, Newborns in Need of Eastern Missouri, is a volunteer-run charity that specializes in the needs of babies (preemie-12 months) facing health or economic crisis. This local chapter of the national organization collaborates with many other St. Louis area charities and services and does not limit its work to any specific denomination.

"We are focused on providing the essentials such as blankets, quilts and  diapers," says Chapter President Judy Giovanoni. The group not only takes donations of items, but a core team of volunteers make items such as blankets, booties and diaper bags as well. "Nothing we make is sold. It is all donated."

"Many people do not realize we also provide bereavement items for hospitals," says volunteer Elaine Pontious.  As Giovanoni and Pontious held up some of the tiny crocheted gowns and booties they provide grieving families, the grace and love of their work was felt throughout the room.

"We focus on the babies, but we are also here to provide the moms with comfort and hope," says Pontious.

For more information about Newborns in Need, visit  

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