Many of you have heard me give shout-outs to Bruce Will over the last 2 1/2 years, he was one of the first people who noticed, “got” and dedicated himself to supporting our community Diaper Bank and he’s been THE go-to guy for me since the summer of ’09.
A quick re-cap of his story: my husband Steve took our three boys to 7-11 one day in June 2009, just two months after we’d launched. He drove our family full-size conversion van, which I’d adorned with huge Diaper Bank side-door magnets and bumper stickers. Bruce saw the van in the parking lot and asked (like most do), “what’s a diaper bank?”
Bruce is a Ford retiree who, instead of filling his time with golf or other recreational activities, has been involved with and looked for volunteering opportunities. When we met, he’d been a dedicated volunteer with a large charity and spent every Wednesday helping them downtown for the past 8 years.
When Steve described the Diaper Bank, Bruce had the lightbulb moment – the same one I had back in Tucson, Arizona, almost 12 years ago when I first learned about diaper need and what a Diaper Bank is. He told Steve he’d love to help and gave him his number to pass on to me. When I heard the story, I was touched by his reaction but honestly didn’t know how I could involve him, we were still so young and just getting started.
Just a few days later, I found myself in a “double-booked” situation — I was supposed to drop diapers off somewhere in Oakland County at the same time I was due to pick up some diapers downtown. I remembered that Bruce said that he went to Detroit on Wednesdays, so I called and asked if he’d be able to help me with the pick-up. He said he’d be happy to, he seemed to love it, and everyone he was in contact with loved him too.
And a beautiful friendship was born – Bruce has done so much to help over the last few years, from picking up and dropping off donations, to securing a huge donation of diapers for us during our 2nd fall diaper drive, to helping lug and move and re-move diapers, to storing diapers and collection bins for us in his own garage, … I really don’t know how we would have done what we’ve been able to do the last 2.5 years without him.
The Diaper Bank’s growing quickly, Bruce’s commitment remains strong, thankfully, and he’s recently been able to dedicate even more time to us, which is beyond fantastic. So I’m thrilled to now introduce Bruce in a more formal capacity with the Detroit Area Diaper Bank, he has taken on the role of Diaper Collection Coordinator (“The Pick-Up Artist” was a title in contention at one point, but we feared it might be construed the wrong way…), and he will now take on all front-line communication and coordination for any donation pickups that need to be made across Metro Detroit. He will also be the point of contact for our donation dropoff locations and make it possible to grow the number of dropoff locations we have available.
We also want to build a network of volunteers that Bruce will be able to call upon and coordinate with as pick-up requests overlap or are in locations that are not convenient to where Bruce may be at a particular place or time. So we’ve started a Google Group to create an email list that Bruce and I can post to when various volunteer opportunities crop up (not limited to just donation pickups, we will also turn to the email list first when we need volunteers for events or if we need spot-help with things like sorting and re-packaging loose diapers, etc.).
If you’d like to join the Google Group to receive volunteer opportunities by email from me and/or Bruce, please visit the group page to subscribe:
|Visit this group|
Thank you, Bruce, for taking the lead on what is a major piece of our Diaper Bank puzzle – it will relieve so much off my plate in terms of where I need to split my time, and our donors, our partner agencies, and interested volunteers will all be served better for it.
Please join me in thanking and welcoming The Detroit Area Diaper Bank’s new Diaper Collection Coordinator, Bruce Will!