The baby shower, in honor of the Virgin Mary, was the idea of Amy Russell, of Bellevue, who attends worship services at the shrine. The Dec. 8 event followed the 11 a.m. Mass.
“She (Russell) felt like it was a nice thing to do,” said Theresa Varos, executive director of Abigail Pregnancy Services.
In addition to the donated money, there was a $50 gift card from Walmart and donations of more than 100 baby outfits, diapers, personal hygiene products, toys, homemade blankets and winter coats.
“The generous gifts of baby supplies and a cash donation of $6,695 leave me beyond words. As we celebrate our 30th year in the community, gifts like these are so encouraging. They set Abigail on course to touch and save more lives. These gifts make a huge difference and take us one step closer to becoming the first choice for local families experiencing a crisis. My team and I humbly thank the Sorrowful Mother Shrine and all the donors. We are so grateful for this compassionate gesture,” said Varos, who noted the baby shower was the first of its kind.
Before the baby shower, she said “expectant mothers or fathers (seldom) receive new baby gifts” and any donations would be “welcomed and greatly appreciated.”
“We are so overwhelmed,” Varos said.
The donations will be split among the Abigail centers in Norwalk and Willard. Varos said Abigail has served more than 31,000 clients over the last 30 years and is working with about 230 clients who visit the centers during various stages of their pregnancies for counseling, supplies and parenting classes.
Shrine spokeswoman Marsha Danhoff expressed her appreciation for the donations.
“We are grateful to all those who generously donated to this worthy cause. The Sorrowful Mother is a place where God and nature meet — in the quiet of the chapel or a walk through the woods, those who visit the shrine encounter a peacefulness from the hustle of daily life. A special thank-you (goes) to all those who support the shrine in so many ways and for helping us make this donation to Abigail possible,” she said.
The focus of Abigail is helping men and women make informed pregnancy decisions.
“Our desire is that we are your first call or stop when you find yourself in an unexpected pregnancy,” according to the Abigail website, www.abigailpregnancyservices.org.
The Sorrowful Mother Shrine is located at 4106 Ohio 269, which is south of Bellevue. For more information, call 419-483-3435 and visit www.sorrowfulmothershrine.org.