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Stork’s Nest is Back in Richmond and Ready to Support Parents and Moms-to-Be 


For more than forty years, Stork’s Nest organizations across the country have aimed to increase the number of women receiving early and regular prenatal care. From the first nest which was launched in 1971, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Stork’s Nest has worked with low-income pregnant women to prevent low birth weight in babies, premature births, and infant deaths. Nationally there are more than eighty local Stork’s Nests focused on moving forward with education and baby care incentives. 

Alpha Phi Zeta Chapter first opened a Stork’s Nest on Venable Street in 1975 under the leadership of the late retired nurse, Margaret B. Cooke. This first nest was decorated and refurbished by chapter members with the assistance of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Iota Sigma Chapter. 

In 2021, Alpha Phi Zeta Chapter partnered with the First English Evangelical Lutheran Church to reestablish a Stork’s Nest to serve the Richmond area. The Nest is named in Cooke’s honor. When asked why it was time to reestablish Stork’s Nest in Richmond, the program’s coordinator, Marie C. Cornwall, RN, MS, ANP, says: “The Richmond area has some of the highest premature births and infant mortality rates in Virginia, especially among the African American population. The goal of the Storks Nest is to do what it can to help alleviate that and to educate moms and families on what they can do to preclude that from occurring.” 

“I see the Storks Nest as a program that can be helpful in the community especially in the underserved population. My vision for the nest is to be able to collaborate with other programs, providers, hospitals to reach the people that are most in need and would benefit from the Storks Nest program,” says Cornwall, who also wants to educate and expose parents to resources they may not be aware of, such as the benefit of a doula, lactation specialist, stress, and its effect on the infant. “It can also bring knowledge about aspects related to the childbirth experience that they may not be aware of or exposed to,” explains Cornwall. 

The Margaret B. Cooke’s Stork’s Nest program accepts new and gently used baby care items such as, blankets, bottles, clothing, diaper bags, diapers, hats, socks towels, washcloths, and baby toys to support the nest. 

Donations are accepted in two ways:
1) Shop online and choose items to donate via our Amazon registry.
2) Contact to make arrangements to drop off items.

For more information, visit the Stork’s Nest.



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