• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

‘Legacy Totes’ given to nine expectant moms

MEGAN PRATHER and her mom, Christina Prather, looked at the clothes and many other baby items in her Little Man’s Legacy Tote during a special birthday party at the Woodford County Health Department Monday morning. Giving totes to expectant moms help Pat Roberts and her family deal with the grief of losing her grandson, Richard W. Craig III. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

HANA WASHER combed through the baby clothes and other items in her green Little Man’s Legacy Tote. Washer received a neutral-colored tote because she doesn’t know if she’s having a daughter or son. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Richard W. Craig II and his mom, Pat Roberts, watched nine expectant moms remove the lids from their Little Man’s Legacy Totes at the Woodford County Health Department Monday morning.

The 30-gallon totes were filled with baby clothes and many other items they’ll need for their unborn daughters and sons. Giving totes to these moms help Roberts, her son and family deal with the grief of losing Richard W. Craig III.

“Little Man” died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Nov. 11, 2006 when he was just two-and-a-half months old.

Roberts and her family celebrated Little Man’s 12th birthday (Aug. 28) a day early by giving three blue (boys), four pink (girls) and two green (not sure) totes to expectant moms in the health department’s Health Access Nurturing Services (HANDS) program.

“It’s a good thing that we do,” said Craig of his family’s tradition of giving totes to expectant moms in Woodford County.

“Tomorrow’s his birthday,” he added, “and it’ll probably be a little rough. But it gets a little better with time. It never goes away.”

Jennifer Wells has been coordinator of Woodford County’s HANDS program for nearly three years and she was excited that nine expectant moms received Legacy Totes this year. “We usually have some who’ve already had their babies,” she said.

“I like seeing the babies, but I’m excited that we have everybody here to open their totes this year … because that doesn’t always happen,” Roberts said.

With a very limited operating budget, Wells said HANDS relies on donations from the nonprofit Little Man’s Legacy Totes to provide help to expectant moms so they don’t feel like they’re alone.

“These totes will get them started,” said Wells. “… Everything that’s in there will help them get started. She’s got diapers. She’s got wipes and bottles – just the basics that you have to have… (And) a whole lot of extras.”

With mom, Christina Prather seated beside her while she opened her blue tote, Megan Prather said, “I’m so excited about this. He’s never going to need clothes – like ever.”

Due Oct. 14, she plans on doing her son’s nursery in a jungle theme, and amazingly many of the animal-related items in his tote “are perfect,” she said.

Hana Washer, due Sept. 21, said she could not afford all of the baby items she received in her Legacy Tote.

“It’s so much. I don’t think I’ll be able to get to the bottom of it before we get out of here. It’s a lot,” said Washer, as she combed through her green tote.

This marked the first-ever occasion when neutral-colored Legacy Totes were given to expectant moms, Roberts said.

Because of the position of Washer’s baby for an ultrasound, she doesn’t know if she’s having a boy or girl.

Nearly 50 Woodford County families are currently in the HANDS program. Roberts and her family have given 143 Little Man’s Legacy Totes to expectant moms – mostly in Woodford County. Also, the Salvation Army provides diapers, wipes and Pack ‘n Play portable play yards to parents in the HANDS programs, Wells said.

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