Parenting can be hard work, and sometimes it’s a struggle to make ends meet. The CHIP Baby and Toddler Shops help by providing needed infant and toddler items at no charge.
CHIP Baby and Toddler Shops expanded throughout the New River Valley in recent years. Unfortunately, the program funding ended, however, NRCA made a commitment to continue the community Shops. CHIP assumed responsibility for Shop operations in Floyd and Giles Counties, while local volunteer groups offered to sponsor the Shops in Montgomery and Pulaski Counties. Community donations and volunteer support entirely fund the operations. Carilion Clinic recently selected the CHIP Giles Shop for a $2,000 grant award.
Parents receive necessary items such as clothing, diapers, shoes, and coats to help meet the needs of their children. However, the Shops are more than helping with needed items. The CHIP Baby and Toddler Shops’ mission is to promote self-esteem, confidence, and overall general positive character building, while at the same time contributing to meet the basic needs of infants and toddlers. Providing families with a shopping experience that includes making choices as a “preferred customer” promotes an exceptionally positive experience.
Trained volunteers that care about families are the heart and soul of the CHIP Baby and Toddler Shops. Volunteers often stay after closing to clean, organize, or meet clients for after-hours emergency needs. Jennifer Woodruff is the Volunteer Shop Manager for Floyd and Sharon Lowery holds this position in Giles. Volunteers Joyce Crawford, Terri Dunford, Linda Dressler, Sheila Skeens, Robert Perkins, and Darlene Cunningham help Sharon with the Giles Shop operations. CHIP parents also want to give back to the community. Many use the clothing, wash, and return items for other families. Floyd has a strong “barter” mentality which supports the Baby and Toddler Shop’s community mission.
The CHIP Shops offer a unique service for families living in Floyd and Giles. While parents do not need to be part of CHIP to access the Shops, volunteers encourage home visiting as a helpful resource. When a family visits a CHIP Floyd or Giles Shop for the first time, the parent is invited to complete a short information sheet so that a CHIP staff member can make contact later to provide information about CHIP home visiting and other available resources in the community. Home visiting is a powerful tool that promotes strong, healthy families and supports parents in their efforts to become self-sufficient.
Baby and Toddler Shops rely on contributions of items for the healthy development of infants and young children. Items needed include large diapers in sizes 3, 4, or 5. The Shops always need baby wipes and lotions.
If you would like to donate to the Shops or volunteer, contact our CHIP office at 540-394-3255.