Citywide Baby Shower Helps Families Thrive

With a boost from the Carter Center’s Inform Women, Transform Lives project, the city of Washington, D.C., threw a big baby shower in the spring of 2023 to connect moms with agencies that can help make their lives a little easier.

“Your expectations, your reality definitely shift the moment you’re pregnant. It’s like some harsh realities that you come across, and you’re just, like, ‘Oh, I was not prepared,’” said shower visitor Ashlie Hollis. “So, I think that any resources that help are always super important.”

  • Expectant couple talks with volunteer.

    A couple learns about family support programs at a citywide event in Washington, D.C. The Carter Center is a partner with the city through its Inform Women, Transform Lives campaign.

“I didn’t expect D.C. to have such a wide variety of programs,” added visitor Jamil Carter, her baby resting peacefully in a sling against her chest. “It’s exciting to know that there are all kinds of support groups and all types of programs.”

Washington is one of 35 cities worldwide that are part of Inform Women, Transform Lives, which helps cities promote underutilized services that benefit women and their families by using access to information as a bridge.

“Each city is provided funding to reach women with essential information through an integrated and targeted communications plan; the money does not go to the city itself but to the vendors, creatives, or communications agency they use,” said Laura Neuman, senior advisor at The Carter Center. “Washington is seeking to raise awareness and the number of women using the city’s Help Me Grow DC services. The baby shower was part of their plan to increase information, awareness, and use of the program.”

Natasha Dupee, executive director of the Mayor’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives, said the shower had a great potential for impact.

“Every time that we have an opportunity to connect with a woman, we have the opportunity to shift a single family,” Dupee said.

Maria Barrios, care coordinator with Help Me Grow DC said she enjoyed meeting area families and telling them about the services her program can provide.

Holding her own daughter as she spoke, Barrios recalled her agency helping an overwhelmed mother who desperately needed diapers for her newborn. Help Me Grow connected the woman with a D.C. diaper bank that she hadn’t known about, and she was ecstatic after receiving 84 diapers the same day.

“It really makes me put in perspective how some people just might not have [access to information and resources], and, especially me having my own daughter, I want to make sure that moms have everything they need, just like I do for her,” Barrios said.

More Cities Added to Project

In September 2023, The Carter Center selected 12 international cities to participate in the third year of the Inform Women, Transform Lives campaign. They joined 23 others from the previous two years The new cities are listed below:

Accra, Ghana

Baltimore, Maryland

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Glasgow, Scotland

Kathmandu, Nepal

Lagos, Nigeria

Mérida, Mexico

Quezon City, Philippines

Quito, Ecuador

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Santiago, Chile

Related Resources

Inform Women, Transform Lives

Video Premiere | Paige Alexander @TEDWomen: Information Is Power

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