Many of you know that Lamar and I are brand ambassadors for Pampers and members of their Pampers Baby Board. Over the last few years, we’ve had some amazing opportunities to pay it forward in various ways from giving away a $300 AmEx gift card to a friend in need to throwing a baby shower to providing the Atlanta Diaper Relief with a one year supply of diapers and wipes Oprah style!
Pampers is committed to making life better for babies, their families and our communities. And I’m so happy that they’ve asked me to share their latest community outreach effort in support of military families. From January through June of this year, Pampers will be donating diapers and wipes to Operation Shower, a non-profit which throws baby showers for expecting moms whose husbands are stationed overseas.
Operation Shower’s mission is to ease the stress of deployment by hosting joyful baby showers for military families across the country. Our baby showers provide expectant military families with high quality products for their babies while recognizing all that they do for our country. – Operation Shower
I’ve never had a spouse that was deployed while I was expecting a baby…I haven’t had that experience. But I have been pregnant and alone and hundreds of miles away from my family and main support system. And it felt so good when my friends embraced me and supported me during that time. They not only gave me emotional support, but they also gave me lots of great gifts for the baby during my baby shower.
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Mara Shepard about her personal experience with Operation Shower. Mara is a labor and delivery nurse that has been married to her high school sweetheart for 20 years. They have 3 children, an 11-year old girl and 5-year old boy/girl twins.
What is it like to be a military wife and mother?
Mara: I think being a military wife/mother has many challenging moments. When your service member leaves for deployments 6 to 9 months at a time (and sometimes longer) and you are separated by different continents, you must hold things down at home with the kids …while praying in the back of your mind that he will be safe.
You can’t just call him if you need something. You can’t just talk to him when you want to talk to him. You wait till he calls you and when he does you hope you catch him…because most of the time you are in different time zones. You must be okay with moving halfway around the world and away from your family. You miss special occasions like birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, or the birth of your child. When he leaves, there is an adjustment period as well as when he comes back home. You get used to doing everything by yourself. Military life is just a different way of living.
Describe your Operation Shower experience.
Mara: I attended Operation Shower in January of 2012 in Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California. I had just had my twins and my husband was deployed at the time. My mom attended the shower with me. My Operation Shower experience was filled with many emotions… all at one time.
I had no idea who [Operation Shower] was when I was invited to attend their shower. I was already feeling down and blue that my husband was not with me during the birth of our twins. When I walked into the event I was greeted with so many smiles and so much warmth.
When I walked into the event I was greeted with so many smiles and so much warmth.
They were welcoming and put a smile on my face. I remember how everything was so beautiful from the table settings to the dessert table to the gift table. I was surprised, shocked, and wasn’t sure how to feel. I thought, who were these people that would do something for us like this?
When anyone mentions Operation Shower to me, a whole lot of memories come flooding back to me. Happy memories because of the experience I had with them. The VERY recent one is the memory of my mom going to this shower with me. Because she passed away just January of this year, I have memories of her being happy and I AM so THANKFUL my mom got to experience this with me. She was my best friend who did everything with me and I am so grateful that she was able to attend with me.
They made me feel special and important. They recognized the sacrifices military wives and mothers go through. I was happy. I was thankful. I felt really blessed and I was also inspired by the caring people of Operation Shower and all the sponsors/people that helped to make it happen.
What impact does Pamper’s diaper donations to Operation Shower have on military moms?
Without businesses like Pampers, organizations such as Operation Shower could not carry out their work with military moms. Pampers’ donation make a positive social impact in the lives of military moms and other businesses and organizations leading by example. It helps motivate others to help support military moms/wives. Pampers helps make a difference by their generous donations to Operation Shower. For this I am also thankful.
Just like Pampers, we, as individuals, can support Operation Shower by donating products, baby items, and even your time as a volunteer. Click here to donate baby products through their registry. And check out the pictures below from a recent Operation Shower event.
Disclosure: Lamar and Ronnie Tyler are “Pampers Baby Board” members and this post is sponsored by Pampers. We partnered with them to spread the word about the great work that Operation Shower is doing for our military families. All opinions are our own.