Over 4,000 people came out in droves to attend the world’s largest baby shower at the New Beginnings Church last Saturday. Passersby would have thought the hundreds of people lining up along King Drive from 66th to 67th Street were going to a job fair or concert. After a closer look, one could see many, if not most, of the crowd consisted of pregnant women.
Corey Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church, and 30 sponsors including Catholic Charities, Healthy Start Southeast and Cook County Hospital hosted the world’s largest baby shower on August 4. The baby shower’s enormous turnout was anticipated so plans included a block party for the community. Stakeholders and many other community leaders were present during the distribution of the goods to the families and to fellowship. Five hundred car seats, 1,500 boxes of diapers, wipes, baby toys, books, organic food, cribs, strollers and clothes were given out to families. The products were brand new and free. Many resources such as onsite CPR classes, domestic violence advocacy, teeth cleaning and entertainment were provided for the community.
As promised, the winner of the fundraising raffle was announced at the shower. An individual won the raffle to attend the Jay-Z & Beyoncé August 10 concert at Soldier Field with 20 friends and family in a private suite.
Pastor Corey Brooks created the baby shower to celebrate life, help break the back of poverty and end violence by providing spiritual, social, economic and educational care to the parents and the next generation.
The world’s largest baby shower is just a start to a lasting movement. Not only did impoverished parents receive products, they also had the opportunity to receive educational information on parental guidance, nutrition, and the importance of child development. Pastor Brooks stated, “Most importantly, this event will allow our community to make a lasting relationship and continuously track the parents and babies until every child within their reach walks across a graduation stage with a degree in hand.”