United Services Organization Fort Leonard Wood hosted the Bundles and Boots Baby Shower Saturday.
The event was for pregnant service members, pregnant spouses of service members and new mothers.
Due to overwhelming community support, a generous $55,695 in baby gifts were donated.
Each guest received 27 items, and additional prizes were raffled off during the afternoon. Traditional baby shower games were played by all 90 of the attendees.
Organizers displayed a cravings table and included over a dozen specialty requests, such as snack cakes, pineapple chunks, hot and spicy chips, pizza and pickles.
The U.S. Marine Corps Detachment assisted in setting up the event. Marines helped mothers-to-be with moving their large baby-gift bounty to their vehicles.
“The intent of this event is to show our expecting military families just how much we all appreciate their sacrifices,” said Kelly Brownfield, Western Missouri Regional Operations director of the USO. “We do understand how much they have to give up sometimes.”
Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, also attended the event and mingled with new mothers.
“I think it’s a wonderful event and a great opportunity to show our spouses and our service members who are getting ready to have babies or who have babies that their community really cares about them and their installation supports them,” Martin said.
Missouri State Rep. Steve Lynch delivered the invocation.
Col. Kimberlie Biever, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital commander and guest speaker, shared her personal pregnancy story with the audience.
“It is probably the most wonderful gift to be a mother,” Biever said. “It’s been the most amazing experience in my life. The most wonderful person in my life joined me, and when you have that privilege of producing a miracle, you’ll never have anything else like it.”
Whitney Faber, Army spouse, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share in the event.
“Being a mom can be overwhelming,” she said. “It was fun to enjoy the fellowship of other new moms as well as indulging in all the lavish giveaways. Thanks to all the organizations and volunteers tasked with making an impact like this for so many families.”
Staff Sgt. Khaila Hardy, 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, commended the level of support shown to new and expecting mothers.
“It’s amazing to see how many people care in our community,” she said.
Brownfield concluded the event by thanking those involved.
“The USO of Missouri cannot begin to thank the entire community enough for pulling together and wrapping their arms around these military families with their generous donations and willingness for continued support in the future,” she said. “This event afforded these ladies the opportunity to build networks and new friendships. The Bundles and Boots Baby Shower showed everyone what a community is all about, which is caring for one another.”