Junior League exceeds goal at event to collect items for new mothers in need

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Junior League of Pelham’s provisional class held a resource drive to collect items for local shelters that help women and children in need. Members of the community gave needed merchandise that was either brought in person or purchased off an Amazon wishlist, including feminine hygiene products, postpartum self-care items, baby supplies and diapers.

“We wanted to do something focusing on the postpartum period,” said Paula Cardona, co-chair of the event. “Most of us are moms, and we felt there was a huge need for support in that area.”

The Junior League collected more than 2,000 diapers, 14 boxes of tampons, 65 boxes of sanitary pads, eight bags of disposable underwear, 2,500 nursing pads, 30 packs of baby wipes, 200 breast-milk pouches, 10 bags of baby clothes, three breast pumps and three portable cribs. All of the donations went to local partners, including Giving Friends, Family Services of Westchester and Bundles of Joy.

“It was really nice to collect resources for women and families who really needed it,” said Kimberly Grocher, provisional class communications chair. “We received more than we expected,”

The event allowed parents to bring their children to do arts and crafts, to get to know other parents and to take a “barre-less” barre class. Thrive, a local Pelham barre studio, sponsored that event. Danielle Franklin, a barre instructor at Thrive, taught two 30-minutes classes. The exercises focused on strengthening the pelvic floor, which is an area weakened by pregnancy and cesarean sections.

Thrive focuses on inclusivity and body positivity. The classes were full.

“I thought the class was incredible,” said Karie Dorrance. “This was the first time I’ve had a chance to exercise in person since my first baby was born.”

Pam Bovyer and Preeti Sinha ran the arts-and-crafts center for the children. There were three stations for the crafts, and because it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, many of the crafts related to his work. The activities were designed to get the children thinking about what he did. The children made cutouts in the shape of their hands, wrote how they could make the world a better place and then put them on a paper tree.

“One of our main missions is to foster the health and well being of women and children, and this project could not be more appropriate,” said Aileen Dose, president of the Junior League. “I am so proud of the provisional class—the new members. This is going to make such a huge impact.”