Again this year, our club will participate in the district’s layette program to aid expectant mothers in Chinandega, Nicaragua. Vicki Foster is heading up this international service project.

In Chinandega, a women’s maternity care shelter can house up to 40 pregnant women who are about to give birth. The local hospital will not admit a woman unless she is expected to deliver within eight hours. She must then leave the hospital the following day.

Many poor women from outlying villages travel to Chinandega to deliver and stay at the shelter until they go into labor. If necessary, they can return there after they deliver. The shelter serves over 1,600 women per year and many of the mothers, as young as 12, have nothing to give their child a start in life.

The layettes contain items that will help these mothers and their babies survive the birth and first crucial days afterward in a safe, clean place. Items that will be included in the bags are cloth diapers, newborn tee shirts, bath, hand and wash cloths, baby shampoo and soap, diaper rash ointment, cotton balls, receiving blankets, baby nail clippers, small manicure set, comb/brush set for the mother and more.

The cost of needed items has been researched and was sent to the club members on July 23. Including the layette bag and diapers for the newborns, the cost is $100 each.

The layettes will be packed during a Club Assembly on August 14.

Funds from the weekly Happy Basket will underwrite some of the costs, and cash donations in any amount must be received by Vicki by August 7. Members who prefer to purchase the listed items can do so, and bring them to the Club Assembly.

As the deadline to deliver the completed layette bags to the district is August 15, the project is on a fast track, so Vicki needs to know very soon how members intend to participate.

Checks should be mailed to Vicki at 2745 E Asplin Dr, Rocky River, OH 44116, and made out to the Rotary Club of Lakewood & Rocky River.

Rotary clubs throughout the U.S. participate in the layette project.