PEKIN — The Tazewell County Health Department will host its third annual Bumps2Babies event on April 27 to promote awareness of local resources for new and expecting parents
The event begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until 1 p.m. at the Fondulac District Library in East Peoria. Admission is free.
“We basically partner up with different organizations throughout the community,” said Tierra Neal, a family case manager with the health department. “Many people in the area may not know about organizations (that offer services) such as child care assistance or child care.”
Organizations participating in the resource fair include the Illinois Department of Human Services, Meridian Health, Chick-Fil-A, East Peoria Mennonite Church, and the Peoria-based child advocacy group iGrow Central Illinois.
“The purpose of the event is to bridge gaps in the community and help new parents and expecting parents with some resources they may not know are offered throughout (central Illinois) that we can partner them with and make sure they don’t get left behind,” said Neal.
The resources available to parents at Bumps2Babies will include in-home visiting, health care, day care facilities, and insurance and health plan providers.
“A lot of times when new parents have a baby, they may feel like they’re not getting enough information,” said Sara Sparkman, a health department spokeswoman. “There will be a lot of information (at the Bumps2Babies event). There will be a lot of resources so that after they have the baby, they’ll have somebody they can reach out to.”
Also discussed will topics such as benefits of a healthy pregnancy, effects of smoking on pregnancy, and nutrition. Although the event is tailored toward new and expecting parents, Sparkman emphasized it is open to everyone.
“We want to make sure everyone has access to the resources we’ve provided,” she said. “Anyone that has anything to do with a baby, we encourage them to attend.”
The health department will distribute free diapers and baby wipes to all visitors. Meridian Health and East Peoria Mennonite Church provided monetary donations that allowed the department to purchase door prizes for the resource fair. Drawings will take place throughout the event, and visitors will have a chance to win a car seat and stroller travel system, a Pack N. Play portable crib, a high chair or a baby monitor.
“When (people) come in, they register at our table and get a passport,” said Neal. “They have to visit each booth throughout the event, get a sticker from each booth just to let us know they went to every (booth) and got some type of communication with everyone that participated. Once they do that, they give us back that passport and we provide them with diapers and wipes.”
For more details, contact Neal at 929-0247 or visit www.tazewellhealth.org.