Southern Utah University’s business students will trade in books and calculators for diapers and bottles this Thursday, January 26, when members of SUU’s Professional Business Leadership Club host a community baby shower, and you’re invited.
As part of their annual service project, Phi Beta Lambda students and faculty are working to launch a Teddy Bear Den in southern Utah, a community-based program aimed at assisting low-income, pregnant women by providing much-needed baby supplies.
Though a joyful time, pregnancy can often come with unexpected complications that strain a family’s finances as well as their hearts. To assist low income mothers in need of support preparing and providing for their babies, the March of Dimes — long known for its community services and advocacy to improve neonatal and infant health — created the Teddy Bear Den program.
SUU’s Phi Beta Lambda students have been working with the Utah chapter of the March of Dimes to open only the second Teddy Bear Den in the state in Cedar City. But they can’t do it without the support of local residents and are inviting the whole of the campus and local communities to help stock the Teddy Bear Den’s shelves through the upcoming baby shower, which will be held in the Cedar Breaks Room of the Sharwan Smith Student Center from 6–8 p.m.
Guests are encouraged to bring baby gifts of any kind but most needed items include diapers and wipes, bottles, combs and various other hygiene items such as shampoo, lotion and diaper rash cream. Also needed are baby clothes, shoes, coats, hats and blankets. Monetary donations of any size are also welcome. In typical baby shower fashion, games and refreshments will be provided.
In addition to supplying mothers with baby products and clothing, the Teddy Bear Den program also encourages healthy behaviors throughout pregnancy, operating on a point system that rewards expecting moms for participating in healthy activities such as attending prenatal care appointments, attending prenatal education classes and keeping appointments for well-baby visits. Women can exchange these points for baby care products, toys and clothing.
Dean Templin of the School of Business is extremely pleased with the effort that his students have made and is excited to bring the program to Cedar City. “I am deeply impressed with the dedication and commitment of all the students involved in the project. They are making it happen,” said Templin, who also serves as advisor to the Professional Business Leaders Club. “This has been totally a student-led project and it has been amazing to watch it unfold,” he said.
Club members have been spreading the word by meeting with community organizations and other groups on campus, educating and engaging them in the program. SUU’s Community Engagement Center will house the ‘den’ and other campus clubs will serve as volunteers. The Center for Women and Children will also join the effort. The PBL Club has reached out to their counterparts at Cedar City High School, enlisting the help of the Future Business Leaders of America Club in soliciting donations.
The grand opening of the Teddy Bear Den will take place on March 21. The den will then be opened every Wednesday from 1 to 6 p.m. for women to shop by exchange earned points for needed items.
For more information or to make a donation outside of Thursday’s community baby shower, please contact Randi Sorensen, president of the Professional Business Leadership Club, at 435-790-1851.