Montgomery County Baby Shop sees higher demand during pandemic

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 1:11 AM EST
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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - One hometown store that helps families provide for their kids is seeing an increase in demand during the pandemic.

Volunteers at the Montgomery County Baby Shop have adapted their procedure to keep up with the increase in demand during COVID times. They want to let you know they’re here and ready to serve.

“I think there will always be a need for it, the need is just greater during the pandemic,” volunteer Gail Pankey said.

Pankey stated double the families needed to use the store since the pandemic began in March.

“We feel like we are doing God’s will to care for these people and support them as best as we can,” volunteer Joyce Bishop said.

The shop’s model is different now. Only a handful of volunteers can comb through the clothes and find four outfits per child.

“We just have fun picking out things for them because none of us have children anymore and some of the clothes are just so cute,” Pankey said.

Those who visit the shop must book an appointment ahead of time and request all they need, so volunteers can do the shopping. Pankey said she is looking forward to when they can go back into the shop. Right now volunteers box up everything families need and take it to their cars when they arrive for their appointments.

“People have been very appreciative; we get lots of text messages after they’ve picked up,” she said. “We’re very grateful to all of the people that have donated so generously.”

The Baby Shop was formed as a collaboration between St. Paul United Methodist Church and Blacksburg Presbyterian in 2015. It closed completely in March when the pandemic set in and in May volunteers were able to open one Saturday a month for a drive-thru.

Any items you need, from clothes to toys and diapers, are free for families every other month. You must be on some form of government assistance to qualify. Products are available for newborns to 5 years old.

The shop is always in need of donations and you can help them out by going to their Facebook page, Montgomery County VA Baby Shop. It is located at the St. Paul United Methodist Church auxiliary building at 220 West Main St. in Christiansburg.

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