Beyonce, Jay-Z Welcome Blue Ivy

Most mothers I know were thrilled if they could secure a hospital room to themselves when they delivered their first baby. I, for one, was ecstatic after labor and childbirth to discover that my hospital offered cupcakes on demand — complete with little “It’s a Girl!” or “It’s a Boy!” decorations. But few can fathom spending $1.4 million to renovate, decorate, and rent out the entire floor of the hospital in preparation for the big event.

But that’s exactly what reports claim Beyoncé and Jay-Z did to prepare for the birth of their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, who was born on Saturday.

As if the excessive spending weren’t enough to anger some in the blogosphere, the floor in question at the Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, also happens to contain the neonatal intensive care unit. And now, parents of the hospital’s most vulnerable infants are saying that they were barred by the body guards of rap and pop’s royal couple from visiting their struggling babies.

Until now, it seemed the celebrity duo could do no wrong. But they tripped on a landmine of national anger about the widening gap between the haves and have-nots and the increasing difficulty those on the lower rungs have in bettering their lives. Still, Beyoncé-gate will no doubt blow over as photos of Blue Ivy are splashed across celebrity tabloids and “Glory,” Jay-Z’s new anthem about his daughter, rises up the charts. But, before we break away from this story, maybe we should pause to consider our priorities.

An organization called Cradles to Crayons, based in Brighton, can help us do just that. C2C collects gently used clothes, toys, and baby equipment and redistributes them via agencies and case workers to families in need across Massachusetts. This year, director Jen White says they are experiencing unprecedented need. In particular, they keep running out of warm winter coats, hats, gloves, and boots for children ages eighteen months to eight years. More specifically, for the 18-24-month-olds, C2C can only meet the needs of six of 10 children.

I’m sure baby Blue Ivy is nothing short of pure magic to her adoring parents. But, back in the real world of staggering economic hardship, the babies we should be talking about need warm clothes that fit.

So, if you have the time, why not take a minute to head over to the Cradles to Crayons website and see how easy it is to make a donation? Or, pack up the kids (ages five and up) and plan a trip to the Giving Factory, where the whole family can put in a few hours of volunteer work and feel the deep satisfaction of giving to a worthy cause. Talk about glory.