Last Saturday the Soldiers' Angels San Diego Wounded Team threw a baby shower for 20 wounded Marines and their wives who were expecting or had recently given birth.
Held at the Camp Pendleton Hope & Care Center of the Wounded Warrior Battalion - West (WWBW), the shower included couples from Camp Pendleton, Naval Hospital San Diego and the Marine Corps base at 29 Palms. The event was facilitated by Family Readiness Officer Melinda Willett, for which Wounded Team co-leaders Susan Lawson and Deana Jaffe were very grateful. "She worked really hard for us for over two months," Susan said.
The party was truly a community and even nationwide effort. Operation Top Knot Angels sent handmade and other gifts from around the country, and the San Diego branch of business software company Intuit held a drive that resulted in a utility van filled to the brin with baby shower gifts. "It was amazing," Susan exclaimed, describing it as including everything from baby clothes and huge boxes of diapers to car seats.
Employees of Intuit in San Diego donated many items for the baby shower.
The highlight of the party turned out to be a very special "diaper cake" made by Jeanne and Bill of Keepsake Cakes in Menifee. Susan had met them at previous event and asked them to "make something cool" for the shower. They had been thinking about making a "Diaper Tank" and jumped at the opportunity, creating a 3.5 foot wide by 2.5 tall tank figure made of 286 disposable diapers and onesies. "The Marines were extremely excited about who was going to win the diaper tank in the raffle," Susan recalled.
All the participants and WWBW staff were deeply touched by the generosity they encountered at the shower. As the party ended, many of the couples exclaimed, "We didn't know we were going to get all of this. I hope we can fit it into our car!" As a thank you, one of the WWBW staff members disappeared for a moment and came back with a USMC jacket for each astonished Angel.
This is the second baby shower San Diego Angels have thrown at the Pendleton WWBW. They plan to do one every six months to make sure each expectant family receives the support they need.
Baby items for future showers are being accepted year-round. If you would like to help Susan and what she calls "my flock of Angels" with a shower donation of any kind, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.