EL PASO, Texas - As part of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, the Fort Bliss Army Volunteer Corps hosted a community baby shower at the installation's Army Community Service Center, Sept. 6.

The shower, which included a baby-items drive, was designed to help stock the shelves of the Fort Bliss junior enlisted family center. The center provides free clothing, furniture and household items to soldiers (E-5 & below) who need temporary assistance.

"This National Day of Service is a day of doing good," said Tephanie Hopper, Fort Bliss Army Volunteer Corps manager. "If you want to contribute positively into the community, then volunteering and participating in events like this is a way of doing that and helping the community."

"This community baby shower project supports the junior enlisted family center by providing baby items for those who might need them," said Hopper, a native of Geneva, Ala.

Volunteers consisting of soldiers from Fort Bliss and civilians from the El Paso community participated in the event to honor the victims of 9/11 and those who served to help the fallen citizens in the tragedy's aftermath.

Hopper was responsible for coordinating the baby shower project; she also recruited, trained and supervised the volunteers participating in the event.

"I'm excited about this baby shower (project), because we've never done anything like this before. It's just one form of giving back and the Army Volunteer Corps is all about giving back," said Hopper. "It warms my heart to see us doing something that directly effects a person or organization."

Throughout the day, the volunteers collected various baby goods that were donated by community members. The items included: diapers, baby wipes, baby food, diaper cream, infant formula, baby bottles, pacifiers, bibs, baby clothes and blankets.

After signing-in and placing their donated baby goods on the table, participants had the opportunity to play in popular baby shower games. Some of the games offered were: a baby food tasting competition, a pin the pacifier on the baby game and the diaper dash competition, where participants had to race to replace a diaper on a baby doll while being blindfolded.

"I was invited to come out to support the community baby shower, and I'm happy I was able to be here and support the Volunteer Corps," said Col. Peter Baktis, Fort Bliss' senior chaplain.

Baktis, was among the three male participants to compete in the diaper dash competition. However, the religious and spiritual leader lost a close race to the winner, Anthony Lovett, Chief of Operations at the Fort Bliss ACS Center.

"This was a great event with a good turnout," said Baktis, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. "They had everything that an actual baby shower would have. I had a lot of fun, and it was all for a good cause."

Students with the Technology Education Attendance Management Students Committee from Western Technical College in El Paso, Texas, brought multiple gift-bag donations to the event. The organization regularly partners with the Fort Bliss community for volunteer projects such as this event.

"A big part of our program is reaching out to better the community that supports us," said Malu Brooks, president of the T.E.A.M.S. committee and native of San Fernando, Calif. "It feels pretty to good to know that the items we're giving will go to people that need them, and it's nice to give back and be apart of this experience."

To volunteer for future events that support the Fort Bliss and El Paso community, you can visit http://www.blissmwr.com/volunteer/ or sign-up at the Fort Bliss ACS center, Bldg. 2494 Ricker Road.

Page last updated Tue March 19th, 2013 at 00:00