WSU Helps Open 'Teddy Bear Den' in Ogden

November 5, 2013

OGDEN, Utah – Low-income, pregnant women in the Weber County area soon will have a new service when the March of Dimes Teddy Bear Den opens Nov. 13. The public is invited to the grand opening from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Midtown Community Health Center (2240 Adams Ave., Ogden) where they are encouraged to bring a new baby item to help stock the shelves of the den.

The March of Dimes Utah Chapter has partnered with Weber State University’s Professional Business Leaders (PBL) Chapter to bring the service to Weber County area residents in hopes that one day all babies will be born healthy.

“We are excited to partner with the WSU PBL Chapter to open the second Teddy Bear Den outside of Salt Lake City,” said Julie Drake, director of program services for the March of Dimes Utah Chapter. “The WSU PBL Chapter saw the need to help pregnant and mothering women in their community and wanted to improve the health of babies.”

The Teddy Bear Den, a March of Dimes community-based prenatal health program, is designed to promote healthy behaviors during pregnancy. Teddy Bear Den clients earn points toward incentives, such as diapers and baby clothes, by attending prenatal care appointments, making healthy lifestyle choices during pregnancy, participating in prenatal education classes, keeping well-baby appointments and signing up for appropriate social services. The mothers can then redeem those points at the Teddy Bear Den.

Weber State student members of the PBL Chapter have worked for more than a year to bring the program to Northern Utah. “This project has given students an opportunity to work more closely with area high schools and businesses in the community to gain their support,” said Laura Anderson, WSU PBL advisor. “What I love most about this project are the many ways people can contribute to the Teddy Bear Den.”

Students in the nursing program as well as Spanish majors collaborated with the PBL members to work with the Midtown Community Health Center to address the needs of its clients.

Each group of students has responsibilities related to areas of study: PBL students contacted area businesses for donations, wrote grants and coordinated logistics. Nursing students will work at the Teddy Bear Den and interact with clients. Spanish majors are translating promotional materials and providing translation for Spanish-speaking clients at the den. At least six Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapters in area high schools are collecting items for the den. High school students are holding community baby showers, diaper drives and fund-raisers. Students at Northridge High have been strong supporters of the project, and proceeds of their annual “Mr. Northridge” pageant will purchase material for baby blankets.

Women can participate in the program throughout their pregnancy and continue until their babies are 1 year old. Women enroll in the program through their healthcare provider and referring agencies, such as Weber-Morgan Health Department and Women Infants and Children offices.

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a quarter of a million middle school, high school and college students preparing for careers in business and business-related fields. The organization also has a professional division for businesspeople, FBLA-PBL alumni, educators and parents who support the goals of the association. The mission of FBLA-PBL is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career-development programs.

Contact:

Julie Drake, director of program services March of Dimes
801-327-9464 • jdrake@marchofdimes.com

Harrison Spendlove, president WSU PBL
801-920-4157 hspendlove@gmail.com

Laura Anderson, advisor WSU PBL
385-244-0861 lsanderson@weber.edu

Author:
Harrison Spendlove, president WSU PBL
801-920-4157 • hspendlove@gmail.com

Weber State UniversityOgden, Utah 84408

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