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Royal baby nudges charity

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 11th, 2013

Cindy Edwards stands among baby gifts in her downtown Littleton store that will be sent to SLV Regional Medical Center to disburse to agencies for needy young families, along with gifts donated at the hospital’s own royal baby shower happening on June 12.


ALAMOSA – Before news broke in recent days that there will be a baby shower for Prince William and Duchess Kate (a first ever for British royalty), Cindy Edwards had already scheduled one for the couple in her downtown Littleton shop for June 8. Edwards has followed the royals for as long as she can remember, throwing parties with friends and shoppers on noble occasions.

What did she tell her guests to bring for the expectant parents who need absolutely nothing? Everything. From diapers to onesies to car seats, anything a child born under far less than imperial circumstances could use piled up in the storefront of FanciMats and More. Unlike the shower Pippa Middleton is planning for her sister Kate, Edwards’ guest list was not exclusive. Anyone who heard about it was welcome to attend.

The third in line to the British crown won’t actually receive the gifts gathered in Littleton because Edwards is sending them 200 miles south to the San Luis Valley.

“We all know the baby will be taken very good care of by the current Monarchy. So in lieu of sending gifts across the pond, I am thrilled to say I have found two beneficiaries that are more than happy to accept donations for new moms and babies,” she said.

In this southern Colorado desert that is nestled between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo ranges, about 500 babies are born each year in the only labor and delivery clinic serving an area the size of Connecticut. More than 80 percent of these births at Alamosa’s SLV Regional Medical Center (SLVRMC) are Medicaid or uninsured.

Edwards’ friend Jacqueline Garrard, MD, has delivered many of them, so when the idea struck for the royal shower, Edwards made a call. The doctor suggested funneling the gifts that arrive at the hospital to the Women’s Resource Center and Nurse Family Partnership in Alamosa, two entities that assist young families facing difficult times.

“They help our patients get their homes ready for their babies and are there for them afterwards too,” Dr. Garrard said.

As word got out about the Littleton shower, gifts poured into Edwards’ store and even to the yarn shop next door. Local customers and those just passing through left presents tagged with yellow hearts.

“Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!” wrote a patron from Amarillo, Texas, to the as of yet unknown Alamosa recipient.

The excitement is contagious, spreading to SLVRMC where a second royal baby shower is scheduled for June 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the first floor atrium. The hospital’s marketing director, who is also Alamosa Mayor Kathy Rogers, said members of the community always step up to help one another out, which makes this place that often records the coldest temperatures in the continental United States, a really warm place to raise a family.

Edwards plans to send an album filled with pictures from the showers to Buckingham Palace, as she did when she hosted a wedding shower for William and Kate two years ago. At that time, guests made needlepoints to give to friends and family. The Palace acknowledged the album with a note back to Edwards which she keeps in a display case of royal magazine covers.

Concerning the Alamosa shower, the community is invited to participate. Anyone who cannot make it to the shower but is interested in donating an unwrapped baby gift may do so at the hospital’s front desk located in the main lobby.


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