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Shoppers Help Mothers in Need

Whole Foods customers can help mothers in need while they shop Saturday by donating baby supplies to Baby Basics, a program run by Person-to-Person . Volunteers Meredith Carre and Elena Whidden were outside the store Friday and will collect again Saturday morning. All donated materials will be assembled in layettes and given to mothers at Stamford and Norwalk hospitals.

Carre and Whidden said people are usually generous about donating newborn essentials. "People have been very good about grabbing a bag of diapers and dropping it off on their way out," Whidden said. "Baby Basics puts some money aside and buys supplies themselves, but the majority of the supplies come in donations from people."

Baby Basics started in 1987 and is run by OPUS, the main fund-raising arm of Person-to-Person. The organization accepts essential baby items such as diapers, wipes, pacifiers, blankets and strollers. Donation drives are held every year. Last year Person-to-Person delivered almost 300 layettes to new mothers, 5 percent of whom live in homeless or domestic violence shelters.

"Whole Foods has been so supportive of us, this is the first year that we're holding the drive here," said Whidden. The donation drive will take place Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m., and Kelly Wheeler, Person-to-Person's In-Kind Donation Manager, will give a short presentation at 10 a.m. about Baby Basics and how people can become more involved.

"We're always looking for new volunteers," Carre said. "We have a separate room at Person-to-Person for Baby Basics. People can volunteer on a weekly basis to come in and help make layettes."

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