TROY, MISSOURI, June 29, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – An 80-year-old grandmother and mother of six may have stopped bearing children decades ago, but old age has only boosted her love for babies. Earlier this month, friends and family members celebrated the birthday of Joan Silverberg-Barteau, an “avid pro-Life supporter,” by collecting baby items for a pregnancy support center in her honor.
“Joan is well known and loved in the community,” wrote Mary Silverberg, daughter-in-law to Joan, on a blog. “Kind and generous, she is beloved by friends and family alike.”
Friends describe Joan as “still a beauty at 80” and “very active.” She “happily” keeps a rigorous volunteer schedule and is recognized as a “tremendous blessing to her family and all who know her.”
As Joan’s big birthday bash approached, her children knew that their mom would not want to be inundated with birthday gifts. Instead, they came up with a novel plan that they made sure to communicate to everyone who knew Joan.
“Please, gifts are unnecessary, but if you would like, in lieu of gifts, please consider bringing an unwrapped item for a newborn baby to be donated in Joan’s honor to Birthright International located in Wentzville,” stated the invitation.
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The idea proved to be a smashing success with Joan being, well, showered with baby gifts. An estimated $1,000 dollars worth of baby clothes, blankets, diapers, and toys were collected.
Dianne Graslie, director of Birthright International in Wentzville, told LifeSiteNews.com that she has never heard of “something like this happening before”.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “This is really stepping up to the plate.”
Graslie explained that Birthright International, as a nonprofit organization, is responsible for its own fundraising. The pro-life center offers free support and services to pregnant mothers, including emotional support, pregnancy testing, adult and baby toiletries, clothing, food, and diapers.
“If we have it, we give it out,” she said.
Graslie pointed out that while the pregnancy support center does “little things” throughout the year, such as an annual golf tournament, to keep the center’s shelves stocked with items to help mothers and babies, the center will nevertheless “greatly benefit” from Joan’s successful baby shower.
In the end, Joan’s “baby shower” birthday turned out to be a charming event for everyone: A pregnancy support center got a huge boost in the arm by receiving many needed baby items, and Joan’s family and friends spent a “lovely afternoon celebrating a very lovely lady.”