View Full Version : Local church women provide shower of gifts

12-09-02, 10:43 AM
Staff Writer
FALLBROOK ---- Expectant and new mothers married to men stationed at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base are receiving a shower of gifts for their little bundles of joy, thanks to the generosity of women from Fallbrook Presbyterian Church.

To help Marine families on a tight budget, the women, in cooperation with a program called Military Outreach Ministry, have been collecting an array of items including furniture, car seats, hats, booties, quilts and diapers to give the young mothers, many of whom are far away from friends and relatives back home. The women gathered recently to load a van full of items to take to the base. And even though the holidays are approaching, the project is a year-round one.

"We help expectant mothers and their babies every day of the week," said the Rev. Sandy Bowen from Military Outreach Ministry, or MOM. "This group decided to do a baby shower for these women. What a wonderful way to bless families. This program provides pretty much anything they need. We try and help military families stretch their pay."

Julie Dawson, a member of Fallbrook Presbyterian Church, a MOM volunteer and a Navy wife married to a doctor, said she was thrilled with the most recent donations.

"This is a mountain of things," said Dawson, a mother of three. "It's great to be part of a ministry that helps those in need."

Besides the baby items, MOM volunteers also can provide an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.

"There's always a story behind these women," said Dawson. "We listen to what's going on in their lives. We're so touched about being able to help."

MOM volunteers also distribute food packages, provide transportation to doctor's appointments and nurture spiritual and emotional needs through Bible studies and craft and conversation classes.

The program gets raves from the Rev. Kirk Bottomly, pastor of Fallbrook Presbyterian Church.

"I think this is one of our most exciting things," he said. "It gets people involved in an active ministry. They're doing something with their faith."

Contact staff writer Patti Magee at (760) 728-5511 or e-mail pmagee@nctimes.com.

Patti Magee

Women from Fallbrook Presbyterian Church, along with their minister, the Rev. Kirk Bottomly, show off baby items collected for new and expectant mothers married to Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton. With them, in the front, from left, are, the Rev. Sandy Bowen, director of Military Outreach Ministry; Earline Dean; Julie Dawson, volunteer with MOM and her baby, Ely, 2 months; Peg Kinney; and Marilyn Higgins.