Students host baby showers to benefit Birthright

COLUMBIA—A school might not seem like the usual venue for a baby shower, but campuses around the Midlands have been holding the celebrations this spring to help mothers and babies in need.

The showers are for clients of Birthright of Columbia, an organization that assists teens and women experiencing a crisis pregnancy.

Students collected diapers, baby wipes and other supplies over a period of weeks. Hank Chardos, executive director and co-founder of the service, attended “Baby Showers for Birthright” at each school and picked up the items.

He was at St. Peter School on the morning of May 30 and that afternoon he visited St. Joseph School. Earlier in the month, he attended showers at St. Martin de Porres and St. John Neumann.

Chardos visits every kickoff event to explain Birthright’s ministry.

“I tell the kids to think about the needs they had as babies and that the little ones in their families have, and I tell them that they are helping mothers who can’t stretch a dollar that far and need help for their babies,” he said.

“I also tell them how important it is to pray for us, for the mothers and babies and for the work we do. They establish a connection with our clients through giving and through prayer,” Chardos continued.

Kathy Preston, principal at St. Peter School, said laundry baskets were placed in each classroom at the beginning of May, and by the end of the month they were full.

“The little children get excited about this project because they are collecting things for other children, and the older children get a deeper understanding of what mothers and babies need,” Preston said.

College students joined the cause too. Students from the University of South Carolina held a supply drive and threw a shower for Birthright.

Each year Birthright serves about 1,700 women in the Midlands, Chardos said. Many of them walk in the door with no money, no job and little education, as well as the fear that comes with a crisis pregnancy.

“These women have so many needs, including the most basic supplies, and that is why the baby showers are important,” Chardos said. “They convey a message of hope for these women in something as simple as a bottle of lotion or a box of baby wipes. It is part of showing these women someone cares.”

For more information about Birthright of Columbia, visit birthrightof or for other locations in the state, visit

Provided: Students from the University of South Carolina put together supplies for Birthright of Columbia during a baby shower they held for the organization earlier this spring.