Last month, in honor of National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, MomsFirst hosted our annual Baby Buggy Walk in the Park event—a community event where those who attend can get resources, learn new skills in mini-workshops, have a bite to eat, win raffle tickets and prizes, and join in with fellow parents and children for a fun walk in the park! This year, our event was at Fatima Family Center in the Hough neighborhood. We hosted approximately 200 community participants for a day of fitness, family and fun!
We began the day with some breakfast and a resource vendor fair where everyone could get great information about childcare, healthcare, education, safe sleep, and everything in between. Next up was a series of mini-workshops that participants could attend to learn about things like healthy relationships, mental health, and how to cook delicious meals on a budget. During these workshops, MomsFirst staff members helped children make crafts and color. There was also time to play on the playground with other the children and make lots of friends!
We all shared some lunch together and then went on a walk with the participants, their children, and the MomsFirst staff around League park. Those who joined in the walk enjoyed getting out and moving on a gorgeous day! The walk was led by a representative from GirlTrek—an organization that encourages African-American women to live healthy lives by walking more and by encouraging other women to walk too. The amazing weather and enthusiasm from everyone made it the perfect opportunity to work on health and fitness in a fun and supportive environment.
When we got back from the walk, it was the moment everyone had been waiting for—the raffle! There were stroller travel systems, toddler exersaucers, personal care gifts for moms and dads, and gift cards! Lots of participants walked away with prizes for themselves or for their children that put smiles on everyone’s faces.
Overall, both participants and staff members had a fun-filled day. One participant said, “Everything was nice. The speakers and vendors had resourceful information that was beneficial to me and my kids. I would come to another event in the future and tell my friends about it.” Some staff members exclaimed that their favorite parts of the day were seeing their participants, interacting with families and children, and seeing the people of the community get access to information and items that will help them out in the future. We hope that everyone who attended gained something from the event and we can’t wait to see what next year’s Baby Buggy Walk in the Park has in store!
Special thanks to all of the vendors that came out to support the community: AT&T, Buckeye Health Plan, Care Alliance, CEOGC, Cleveland Department of Public Health, Cleveland Public Library, 211 First Call for Help, Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, Legal Aid, Moms Quit for Two, OhioGuidestone, Passages, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Seeds of Literacy, Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc., GirlTrek, Starting Point, UnitedHealthCare, WIC, Womankind, YMCA, College Now, Birthing Beautiful Communities, and Fatima’s Family to Family program.