UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) – Being a new parent is tough enough, but it’s taking a greater toll on those struggling financially. One Upper West Side community champion is reaching out to help women in her neighborhood cope with the rising cost of baby essentials by throwing a community baby shower.

There’s a baby boom at the Douglass Houses on the Upper West Side. There are more than 75 new moms and moms-to-be who live at the NYCHA development. So, grandmother of 19 and tenant president Carmen Quinones had an idea to throw a special community baby shower.

April Diaz, 28, from the Douglass Houses just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Kayson. He’s five pounds and eight ounces of pure adorable. Diaz, like so many new parents, wasn’t prepared for the enormous costs that come with a new little bundle of joy.

Quinones said Diaz is just one of dozens of moms who live at the Douglass Houses who come to her tenant office daily with desperate requests for formula, diapers and clothing. Their families are struggling to afford it. Quinones kicked into high gear and started collecting clothing last month.

Quinones says she’s hosting the first community baby shower at the NYCHA development. The guest list keeps growing. She has 75 women signed up. Every mom will get a gift bag, but more importantly, new mothers will feel valued and loved by their community.

India Waters, 26, from the Douglass Houses is excited and is expecting her first son. She is seven months pregnant. She says this baby shower is coming just in time.

They are accepting donations at the Douglass Houses management at 880 Columbus Avenue or call Carmen Quinones at 347-499-0025.