NORTH RANDALL, Ohio (WJW) – A free community wide baby shower aims to help families thrive in pregnancy and beyond with more than 30,000 items planned for donation.
Friday, Marie McCausland of Solon, the founder of the organizations Mom Effect and DigiDoula spent the day organizing three storage units nearly overflowing with items intended for hundreds of local babies.
“I’m finishing organizing all the items in our storage unit to be put into a 26-foot box truck tomorrow,” said McCausland.
All are welcome to attend the shower Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Euclid Creek Reservation in Wildwood Park at 16975 Wildwood Drive in Cleveland.
“Everything is free. I’m just doing it because I want to help,” she said. “I know it’s hard right now. I lost my job last year I completely shifted careers I’m a doula now…I used to be a bench scientist.”
The pandemic, in part, forced a course correction in McCausland’s life that made her reflect on a near death experience, giving birth to her son and ways she could help other moms safely prepare for the arrival of their child.
“When I had my son, I nearly died. I had post-partum preeclampsia,” she said. “It was a really terrifying experience, made me realize there’s not a lot of education out there, not a lot of support out there for parents and post-partum.”
Due to an overflow of donations from the Cleveland Food Bank, Children’s Book Bank among others McCausland said she’s able to donate items to other moms ahead of the baby shower, who then give items away to organizations close to their hearts.
“Being a survivor of domestic violence myself I wanted to do something to give back to the community,” said Lisa Friedlander. “She offered me to come out and look today for what was needed for the shelter for the children and gave me boxes. Let me box up toys diapers a bathtub.”
This baby shower is possible, in part, because of others paying it forward, too, by donating storage units to hold the strollers, diapers, clothing, and furniture set for donation.
“It’s kind of my calling to find people that need something and try find a way to help them. She’s doing something wonderful,” said Sheryl Bauknecht, Facility Manager at Redi Storage.
This will be the second baby shower McCausland hosts for families in just months with the dream of helping provide supplies to families in need of extra help.
“I organized the July baby shower while I was still on unemployment,” she said. “I would spend some of the money I got on unemployment just like going to garage sales just trying to make this baby shower happen because I know there’s people that need it more than I do.”