With new babies come long nights, little sleep, and a new family member you never knew you could love so intensely. For military moms or moms whose partner is serving, their plate is especially full with the responsibility of taking care of a family, while supporting their military partner or preparing for their own active duty.
In May, at a special baby shower in Colorado Springs, Cracker Barrel surprised 100 military moms-to-be and new moms with one of their famous rockers—often seen at the entrance to their restaurants—through their nonprofit partner Operation Homefront. Operation Homefront started in 2002 to address the financial stress that affects many military families, and has since served tens of thousands of military families.
The Star Spangled Babies shower provided parents with necessary supplies for a new baby, inspirational or educational speakers, and interactive games to build community. At the end of the shower, the moms, and a few dads, were led into the gym, where a curtain was raised to reveal 100 Cracker Barrel rocking chairs.
“The parents gasped,” said Margi Kirst, Operation Homefront chief development officer. “Some of them ran, some of them walked to the rocking chairs, and immediately started quietly rocking super happily.” In addition to the rockers, guests took home toys, baby blankets, and clothes donated through Operation Homefront’s 2017 Holiday Toy Drive.