The Montgomery County Baby Shop begins its ninth year of service to the community by providing clothing, diapers, furniture, and other baby necessities to those in need.
The Baby Shop is a non-profit, fully volunteer and donation-supported organization. This program began with a grant from Community Housing Partners (CHP), which helped the group get started for the first several months. After the funding stopped, organizers decided to keep the program running through donations.
Volunteer Joyce Bishop said, “we couldn’t have done it without all those donations. We purchase some things, and diapers are really wanted, needed by our clients. We average about 25 families a month and we average about 50 children being served per month.”
Bishop said they serve income-based need children, five years of age and under, in the areas of Montgomery County and the city of Radford. The program is a mission of St. Paul United Methodist Church of Christiansburg and the Blacksburg Presbyterian Church.
Clients can make an appointment to pick up items, and let volunteers know if they have specific needs that the Baby Shop can meet. Along with Bishop, Volunteers Melinda Winslow, Lisa Bass, and Gail Pankey have and continue to work diligently to keep the program running smoothly.
“Gail Pankey came up with the idea to make appointments, and it has worked very well,” Bishop said. “Lisa Bass came up with the idea to fill out a sheet for people to pick out sizes and what they need so it is ready to pick up.”
The volunteers take the applicant’s forms and put together each order so that the clients can pick them up without coming inside the store. Bishop said this has greatly improved their efficiency with pickup.
“We have other very dedicated volunteers who will help pack these things on Thursday or Friday, depending on how many we have, so that when they do come in on Saturday, then we have it ready for them to go,” Bishop said. “We try to open on the third Monday of the month, so if something would happen, a lot of clients who may not have transportation on a particular day, if they missed coming by to pick up their stuff on Saturday, they can come by on Monday.”
The program also offers Bibles, gently used toys, and books, which the families can also specify for the children.
“We make sure every child gets two books and a toy. Equipment for babies and small children may also be donated through the program such as highchairs, baby beds, and things like that,” Bishop said.
The Montgomery County Baby Shop accepts donations of gently used and new items as well as financial donations to purchase things of need. Visit their Facebook page at Montgomery County VA Baby Shop for more information about the program or to contact someone about making a donation. Additional contact information listed on the social media site provides an email address at firstname.lastname@example.org and a phone number of 540-382-2410.