Since 2009, Diaper Drives hosted by Canton Library have brought 113,153 diapers into the Diaper Bank for distribution to our neighbors in need across Metro Detroit!
This is what these past 4 years of our diaper drive partnership with CPL has looked like:
2009 (1st drive, drop off inside the library): 17,254 diapers
2010 (1st Stuff the Truck drive): 26,312 diapers
2011 (2nd Stuff the Truck drive): 30,813 diapers
2012 (3rd Stuff the Truck drive): 38,954 diapers
The drive has grown every year, and we have SO MANY people, organizations and companies to thank, starting with, of course, the fabulous Canton Public Library.
We’ll always be beyond grateful they “found” us on Twitter just months after we launched in spring 2009 and expressed interest in hosting a diaper drive for us. We literally built our first fall drive around them in 2009, having an overall goal of collecting “30,000 by Thanksgiving” and made the Library drive the “anchor” event to the fall diaper drive. We collected more than 1/2 of the original goal during just that one day drive and smashed the 30K goal that fall by more than 20K diapers. And look at us now! Collecting more than twice that 1st library drive amount during Stuff the Truck 2012, helping us to reach toward our ambitious “200,000 by Thanksgiving” fall diaper drive goal!
We couldn’t have grown the Library drive from an in-lobby effort to the size it is now without the generous support of Fat Chef in a Little Coat Catering Service, a fantastic Canton-based company owned by the Hulett Family who selflessly give up use of their bright yellow truck for two days so we can park it in front of Canton Library and “stuff” it full of diapers. Not only do the Huletts drive the truck over to our storage space at the end of night 2 and help us unload, Mom Cathy Hulett brought us THE most delicious meat-lovers pizza to keep us fueled up through the final few hours at the truck last night! You have to check out the amazing food they offer at their new storefront in Cherry Hill Village!
We are always thankful to our ace volunteers Bruce Will, Melva Parks and Jessica Roland, who work continuously and tirelessly to support the Diaper Bank throughout the year, but stepped it up even more the last two days. Shout-out to Melva’s granddaughter Kendall, who has a big future in diaper-package sealing, counting and stuffing!
And our great in-truck volunteers this year: Lisa Kluka (3rd year in the truck!), Marybeth Miller, St. Mary Girl Scouts from Wayne (and Bridget Jarvis and other parents!) and Girl Scouts from Troop 640 in Canton, Laura Dyas, Darius Daneshyar, Carlye Petro, Ed Weidenbach. Lisa, Marybeth M., and Jessica came for chunks of time on BOTH days — we’re so grateful for ALL of the volunteers, not only do many hands make light work, but everyone was great company and made the time fly by.
Most of all, our deepest, most sincere thanks to all of the DONORS. The generosity of our community never ceases to amaze me. We received some very large donations from companies like J&B Medical Supply and organizations like The Livonia Senior Center. We also received some huge diaper collections from diaper drives like the one at The Funky Frog Children’s Resale Boutique in Rochester and church groups and community organizations, some of whom we didn’t even realize had been collecting for us. We also received some very generous financial donations, which will help us purchase additional diapers.
The large donations definitely had an impact on how quickly the truck was “stuffed”, but I will personally never get over the number of times a car would pull up in the loop in front of the Library and stop just to have someone walk a pack of diapers over to us, get back in their car and drive off. It happened over and over and over throughout the two days, and it was just the most amazing, heartwarming thing to see.
We loved meeting and thanking and talking with our neighbors, seeing so many people from so many places around the region, coming to donate diapers for those in need.
Many people said they donated last year and looked for the drive again this year, many people just heard of it for the first time this year but already pledged to help again next year. We’ll still be picking up diapers from some donors throughout the next week – some couldn’t get the diapers to us during the two days, some could only fit part of what they have to donate in their car. Diapers continue to be dropped off at the Library today and probably will throughout the next couple weeks.
The final count of donated diapers at 9 pm last night was 38,954!
And a quick, final thank you to Mother Nature, who finally came through with a couple of very nice days for us. After having 4 of the coldest November days over the last two years, including having sleet blow in on us IN the truck last year, two sunny days in the mid-to-high 40s made a very fun event all the more pleasant. So thanks for not having fun at our expense, this year, Ma Nature!
CONTACT: Marybeth Levine
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, Inc.
METRO DETROIT COMMUNITY DIAPER BANK LAUNCHES 4th ANNUAL FALL DIAPER DRIVE
CANTON, MICH. (August 15, 2012) – The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, a Canton-based nonprofit charity providing diapers for people in need across Southeast Michigan, launched its 4th Annual Fall Diaper Drive today. The Diaper Drive’s goal is to collect 200,000 diapers (or the funds to buy them) by Thanksgiving 2012.
No federal assistance programs pay for or provide diapers, not WIC, Food Stamps or Medicare. Nonprofit organizations and state agencies working with families and individuals in crisis consistently list diapers as an ongoing and TOP need. The Diaper Bank partners with these organizations, becoming their diaper resource and increasing their capacity to more fully support our neighbors in need.
An average infant uses up to 12 diapers per day, a toddler up to 8 per day. But in low-income households, a baby may be in a single diaper all day or longer, increasing the chance of health problems and putting the child at risk for abuse. Parents who can’t afford diapers can’t leave their child at daycare to go to work or school. Some children with disabilities never outgrow the need for diapers and seniors who can’t afford incontinence supplies often become home-bound or end up in a nursing home.
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank exists to address this largely unknown and chronically unmet need; the Annual Fall Diaper Drive helps drive donations into the Diaper Bank so that it can fulfill more of its partner agencies’ families’ needs and help through the holidays and start of the new year, a time when donations tend to slow down.
“Our goal for the ‘200,000 by Thanksgiving’ Diaper Drive is, of course, primarily to bring in resources that we can distribute to our partner agencies working with our neighbors in need. But we also hope it helps raise awareness about the diaper issue and engage the community in our mission. We are always in need of individuals, businesses, schools, community organizations and places of worship to run fundraisers and diaper drives to support the Diaper Bank, whether it’s before Thanksgiving or not,” said Marybeth Levine, Founder and Executive Director of the Detroit Area Diaper Bank. “The diapers go out just as quickly as they come in, so we are looking for year-round partnerships and support to help us really make a difference with diapers.”
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank’s mission is to raise awareness about the large hole in the “safety net” resulting in the unmet need for diapers in our community’s most vulnerable populations — babies from low-income households, the elderly, people with disabilities — and build a network to help meet it. For more information, please visit www.detroitareadiaperbank.org.
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The Detroit Area Diaper Bank is pleased to welcome Jessica Roland on board to lead an exciting new project, a recycling program for diaper and wipes packaging as part of the TerraCycle Huggies Brand Brigade®.
Every year, millions of pieces of plastic diaper and wipes packaging end up in the garbage and then landfills. As an eco-friendly innovator, TerraCycle can convert plastic waste diaper and wipes packaging into unique products. The Detroit Area Diaper Bank is now an official collection location for the new diaper and wipes packaging recycling brigade, so each approved plastic diaper or wipes packaging we send in — ANY brand, ANY size, baby through adult — is worth a $.02 donation to The Detroit Area Diaper Bank!
The Diaper Bank is going to work with its recipient partners to reclaim as much packaging from the diapers we distribute to them as possible, it’s a great opportunity for the organizations we support and the families they support to support us in return. We’ll also welcome donations from across the community, and look forward to opportunities to build new relationships with individuals, organizations and businesses as we offer the opportunity to recycle their diaper and wipes packaging and ask for their ongoing support for the Diaper Bank through this unique program.
We’re excited to have Jessica as our TerraCycle Brigade Leader, she’s a great fit for the Diaper Bank, she has vision, big ideas and the skills to see things through and make things happen. A mother of two, she lives in Canton with her husband Chris, has worked in the nonprofit sector previously and has been an active member and leader of numerous community-focused organizations including Canton Area Moms 4 Community, the Canton Newcomers Club and her children’s school PTO.
Jessica is a doer and we like doers at the Detroit Area Diaper Bank! Welcome, Jessica! Thanks for taking the lead on this project and helping the Diaper Bank continue to grow and make a difference across Metro Detroit!
Visit our website page about our new TerraCycle recycling project here.
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank is in the running for grants up to $50,000 in the Art Van Charity Challenge
Your vote will decide the winner in the 4th annual Million Dollar Charity Challenge campaign
CANTON, MI – May 17, 2012: The Detroit Area Diaper Bank is asking for your support – not in dollars, but in votes! Beginning Friday, May 18 and running for two weeks, the community is invited to vote for their favorite Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge organization from among 150 Michigan based charities. The top three charities with the most votes will win grants of $25,000, $15,000 or $10,000.
To cast a vote, supporters can visit http://www.artvancharitychallenge.com. Supporters may only cast ONE vote throughout the contest. Art Van Furniture will announce the winners on Friday, June 1, 2012.
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank NEEDS YOUR HELP to secure these critical funds! In its first three years, the Diaper Bank has provided nearly 1.3 million diapers and incontinence supplies to more than 60 nonprofit and state agencies serving our neediest neighbors across Southeast Michigan. But the need continues and resources become more scarce during the summer when diaper drives and donations tend to slow down. Please cast your vote for The Diaper Bank and help continue to make a difference with diapers — 100% of funds will be used to purchase diapers and incontinence supplies.
The Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge is an innovative program presented by Art Van Furniture that awards challenge grants from $5,000 to $50,000 to support Michigan-based nonprofit organizations that focus on children, health and human services programs. Within the last three years, 150 Michigan charities have been awarded a total of $3 million dollars. Through the challenge component, $10 million has been raised since the program began in 2009. For a complete list of Art Van Million Dollar Charities visit artvancharitychallenge.com.
About Art Van Furniture
Art Van Furniture is Michigan’s largest furniture retailer and America’s largest independent furniture retailer. The company operates 34 stores in Michigan, a full service e-commerce website, plus six freestanding Art Van PureSleep bedding stores in Canton, Troy, Rochester Hills, Brighton, Ann Arbor and New Hudson, Michigan. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Mich. Check out artvan.com for more information.
About The Detroit Area Diaper Bank
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank is a 501c3 nonprofit charity founded in April 2009 to address the unmet need for diapers among the most vulnerable in Metro Detroit – babies from low-income households, people with disabilities and the elderly with incontinence issues. There is no assistance for diapers, they are not paid for or provided by WIC, Food Stamps or Medicare. The Diaper Bank works to address this large “hole” in the safety net and enable our partner nonprofit agencies to provide more whole solutions for our neighbors in need. Check out detroitareadiaperbank.org for more information.
As I got ready to check out from a quick, basic stop at the grocery store, it struck me how many items in my cart I wouldn’t be able to purchase if I only had food stamps to pay with, like so many of our neediest neighbors:
…and various other sundries that help me run our household. But what really struck me is how many cleanliness-related items I wouldn’t have in my cart:
Yes, I would still have food in my cart and I would be able to feed my kids that night, thank goodness. But it’s important to remember that just because a family can shop at a grocery store with the help of food stamps doesn’t mean they can get everything they need.
As a Diaper Bank, we focus on diapers as a basic hygiene need and one that is not paid for or provided by any federal assistance program, not WIC, Food Stamps or Medicare. But there’s no ignoring the fact that NO hygiene needs are covered by these assistance programs, and it’s a larger conversation that needs to be had.
We expect kids to show up clean and healthy for school and perform as well as other kids, regardless of what they’re dealing with at home. We tell parents to go make a good impression in that interview and get that job. But when people don’t have access to basic hygiene items at home to keep them clean and healthy, they can’t compete on an even playing field. They don’t feel good, they don’t look good, they may not even smell good and it DOES affect them – their self-worth is diminished, they are more self-conscious, they feel shame and embarrassment. It will affect their performance at school and at work – if they make it to/through that interview. Do we think a kid that has to use fast-food napkins at home for toilet paper DOESN’T know he’s different?
We know SNAP (food stamps) is a program under the Department of Agriculture. We get that the likelihood of food stamps ever being stretched to cover non-food items is zip to nil under the USDA. But with technology today, how is it not possible to make an additional subsidy (through the Department of Health and Human Services?) available to families using food stamps to purchase basic hygiene supplies? Barcode technology should make it possible to limit what can be bought to hygiene basics. Hyperbolic howls about “entitlements!” are sure to rise, but a realistic conversation has to be had about what people NEED to get by in America – to get that job, to feel confident at school, to succeed and be independent – besides just food, clothing and housing.
As long as the gaping hole in the safety net exists that doesn’t allow struggling families to have access to basic hygiene items – soap, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and yes, DIAPERS – things needed to compete, to be independent, to “fit in” and “be normal” by today’s social mores, those families will remain at a major disadvantage in society, and left further behind.
We need to do more. It’s easier said than done, I know, but we need to start acknowledging that a very basic need of people is to be CLEAN – to retain their dignity and self-confidence and to know they’re keeping their kids clean and healthy, just as much as they need food on the table, if they’re expected to perform equally and independently in this country.
I’m often asked how we distribute diapers, so I made a video while I was distributing today to give an idea of how we work. Big thanks to the representatives from our partner agencies that agreed to go on camera for me!
Click through to get to the video:
I’m 43, I had 3 huge baby boys, and I’m currently suffering from one of those rib-cage-rattling coughs that grabs on and just won’t let go.
The irony is not lost on me that ‘the Diaper Lady’ has found herself shopping in the Poise aisle while battling this cough. And experiencing that fearful hope-beyond-hope that the pad I’m wearing can prevent any ’embarrassing accidents’ when I’m in public and a coughing jag comes on.
This may be TMI for some people, but really, ladies especially that have had children, as we get older, the likelihood is that we’re all going to need some kind of incontinence supply. In fact, I’m sure I’m not the only one in my age-range dealing with this now.
If you’re among the fortunate ones that will be comfortable enough in your retirement to be able to afford the (crushingly expensive) personal hygiene products you’ll need to go on living life normally and discreetly, that’s great. But for scores of seniors who enter their “golden years” with just their Social Security check and Medicare to rely on, it just may not be possible. Most seniors will tell you their Social Security check doesn’t fully cover rent, utilities, food & medicine to get through a month, and Medicare won’t pay for or provide incontinence items.
I imagine what I’d do if I was struggling with this cough, which I can’t control, without the protection for my independence and dignity against “accidents” while coughing, which I also can’t control. I guess I’d stay home and avoid the possibility of having ‘an accident’ in public, but there goes my independence and dignity.
What would you do? What will you do??
Diaper need doesn’t just affect low-income families with babies, it also affects people with disabilities, seniors with incontinence issues, and heck, even Diaper Ladies with a bad cough. Let’s not shy away from these ’embarrassing’ conversations – more of us can relate than you think or that might admit it.
So, have you taken the plunge?
Were you an early adopter to the new Facebook “Timeline” layout? Or are you holding out, waiting until Facebook literally force-changes your page?
I’m typically a “stand fast until there’s nothing left to stand on” kind of person in terms of these layout change things. I stuck with the old Twitter interface, ignoring the perma-threat they put on my page that it would be gone any day, until one day, it was gone.
So when news of the new Facebook Timeline interface came along, I’d planned to “stand fast” again. I wouldn’t change from my comfortable, familiar profile interface until they MADE me. I might have tried out the new interface, but found out there’s no “revert” button. Once you go Timeline, you never go back.
But then I read an article about nonprofits creating Timeline Covers for their supporters that provide attractive photos that “fit” the somewhat odd cover photo size, while providing “branding” and message-spreading opportunities for the organizations.
As a small, all-volunteer nonprofit charity, The Detroit Area Diaper Bank is all about maximizing as many free resources as possible that help promote our mission. We try to stay informed on new trends and be nimble enough to get as much on the front-end of what nonprofits are using “out there” as much as possible. (see our Pinterest boards!)
So I set about learning about Facebook Timeline Covers and creating some initial offerings for the Diaper Bank. This, of course, meant that I needed to be able to try out the cover photos — so yes, I had to give up my “stand fast” ways and WILLINGLY convert to the new Timeline interface. Like getting a shot, the anticipation of making the change was much worse than the reality of it. It’s really not bad.
And you know what made it easier? Having an awesome Diaper Bank Timeline Cover photo dressing up my new profile page. Seriously, I truly enjoy it.
So let us help you with your transition! Whether you’re an early adopter or are standing fast, waiting until your hand is forced, when it’s time to find a cover photo to use, please help yourself to one of ours, you can check them out in the gallery, below. It’ll dress up your page AND show your support for our Community Diaper Bank! We’ll keep trying to come up with fresh Covers to add, so please keep checking in on this page for more options.
Change is a’comin’, so go ahead and jump, or wait to be pushed. Either way, we hope we can help you settle into your new Timeline home with a little Metro-Detroit-DADB-flavor. Grab yourself a Timeline Cover now!
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!