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Operation Homefront throws baby shower for military families

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COLORADO SPRINGS – The non-profit Operation Homefront threw a special “Star-Spangled” baby shower for military moms and spouses at Hotel Elegante Sunday afternoon.

The event helped provide more than a hundred moms and spouses with essential baby products while letting them know there’s a community rallying around them.

The patriotic occasion also recognized the sacrifices they make while helping them build relationships with each other.

“They are at Fort Carson, they’re at the Air Force Academy, wherever it may be, and they don’t know anybody,” said Melissa Stockwell, a mother, and retired first lieutenant who was the keynote speaker at the event.

“And they’re pregnant, maybe with their first child and they need that support system. You have someone next to you who understands what you’re going through and you go through it together.”

“You meet other military moms that you might not otherwise meet,” said Natalie Zanzucchi-Washington, an expectant mother who was in attendance.

Two soon-to-be dads met at the event, too.
They’re both on active duty, and both their wives are on bed rest, expecting twin boys.

“I was just happy there was another guy here, to be honest,” said Cassidy Snell with a chuckle.
“It’s nice to have someone to relate to.”

To meet these families’ needs, the non-proft partnered up with Proctor and Gamble to give away baby supplies, provide important information to first-time parents, and raffle personal care services.

“[From a] financial standpoint, it’s – having twins is double. and we’re having to buy double – double, so anything we can get helps,” Snell added.

“You incur a lot of out-of-pocket expenses,” Zanzucchi-Washington described.
“So having somebody to support you in the community with the arrival of a new baby is really nice.”

The organization is filling the gap many expecting parents face when leaving their own extended families behind, and celebrating this milestone alongside them.

“Getting to know your new hometown and letting you have the baby shower that you might not have had,” Zanzucchi-Washington said of the experience.

“We definitely appreciate that,” Snell emphasized.
“We don’t have family or friends here so they’re helping out a lot by giving us a baby shower that we were not gonna have.”

Operation Homefront will also be organizing a “Back-To-School Brigade” later this summer where they will collect donations like backpacks and other school supplies to prepare military children for the upcoming school year.

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