Becoming pregnant is a beautiful time in a woman’s life and it should be celebrated as much as possible. Although many women are fortunate enough to have baby showers, there are also a lot of families who cannot afford the cost ahead of caring and providing for a child. For these women, Kimberly Felshaw stepped in and created the group ‘Operation Showers of Appreciation’.
Kimberly was inspired to give back to women after tragically losing her first baby Alissa to a terminal illness, 11 years ago. Felshaw thought to honor military moms who are often stationed far away from their family and friends when having their baby. She stated “It shouldn’t be an extra stresser on a military family because they chose to have a family, it should be a joyous moment,” From this, she decided to create the organization and throw baby showers around the country, celebrating mothers and the incredible steps ahead in their lives.
So far, Felshaw’s generosity and dedication to the cause has allowed for over 8,000 military families to be celebrated in a way they wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. The financial aspect of the organization has been purely based on donated gifts and monetary aid. Through all the donations given, they are able to put on 15 group baby showers a year with the most recent taking place in California.
The story was picked up by ABC News and got the attention of sponsors who took the opportunity to get involved in the charity work. Redbook Magazine and fast food joint Chick-Fil-A decided to donate $25,000 to Kimberly’s organization. Redbook editor-in-chief, Meredith Rolling, told ABC News “There’s nothing more joyful than a baby shower, and there’s something particularly wonderful about one that’s celebrating a family that may not otherwise be able to have one,”
The overwhelming donation would allow the organization to continue and build upon its kind work. The military families involved spoke of their gratitude after attending the baby shower. Alissa Grasso her and navy officer husband Daanen Grasso drove three hours to attend the event observing that it was “so much fun” and that “It’s such a tremendous help on our budget,”. For a mother expecting twins, Kimberly’s tireless work did not go unnoticed.
Felshaw later said that she hoped her work would encourage her children to give back to the community, asserting “making other people happy too is a beautiful thing,”