“Little feet make big imprints on our hearts,” read one of 30 adorable cards sent to expecting mothers at SouthWest Options for Women in Eden Prairie. The Providence Academy Lion’s For Life Club worked to give women with limited resources the opportunity to make these little feet more manageable. On Sunday April 24,the club assembled ten care packages, each encasing three personalized cards, for mothers-to-be with the intention of relieving and exciting the women receiving their contents.
Cradled in each of the ten baskets were all the basics for a soon-to-be mom, from a pair of socks to a stuffed animal. Enthused club member Melia Cmiel, ‘25, recalled that assembling the contents and imagining the babies and moms that would be benefiting, especially the clothing, was the best thing she could have done on a Sunday afternoon.
Cmiel noted, “I love to lend a helping hand in any way I can, whether it be making baskets, cards, or just being there and giving my support”!
As cute as they can be, babies can also be quite a handful. First grade teacher Erin Lee, one of the event supervisors and mother of four attests that as a parent, raising a child, let alone a newborn, is no easy task.
Lee said, “especially after my first, adjusting to a sleeping pattern was very demanding because the ability to sleep was a rare occurrence”.
On top of early mornings, lack of love and support from families present another barrier to women at SouthWest Options for Women. This was why the event was so meaningful to the President of the Lions for Life club, Grace Wikenheiser ‘22.
Wikenheiser reflected, “while the supplies are a great help to the mothers, the support and love that they represent are what truly make a difference. These women need to know that they do not have to do this alone.”
Cmiel also noted how exciting it was not only to put the baskets together with the “adorable” baby accessories, but to know her work was going to make an impact.
“It’s important to me that we help and support even the smallest or youngest members of our community in any way that we can.”
Despite all of the challenges that come with being a mother, Lee firmly stated, “it’s like Christmas morning, every morning”! She noted that through all the long nights and early mornings, “you are able to get through it all because of the bond you form with your baby. A difficult task is no longer something you have to do, but something you get to do for your child.”
The true joy and excitement that comes with being a mother is something the Lions for Life club wanted to share with all the women at SouthWest Options through personalized cards. Three handmade cards, with a loving and encouraging message, were placed within each of the baskets the club put together.
Wikenheiser commented, “three was a somewhat random number, but I wanted to include multiple cards to express how much support these women have through the trying circumstances in which they find themselves.”
The following Monday, Wikenheiser brought the baby baskets to SouthWest Options for Women, concluding the final planned event for the Lions for Life club. This past year they displayed the American flags for the 9/11 memorial, participated in the National Day of Solidarity by remaining silent to call attention to those who have no voice, and hosted their Beard for Babies fundraiser, just to name a few, all speaking to the sanctity of life.
As her senior year comes to a close, along with her leadership in this club, Wikenheiser affirms, “I know that Lions for Life will continue making a difference long after the current members have left Providence Academy”.