The Detroit Area Diaper Bank's Blog

A Community-Leading Library, a Generous Community, a Grateful Charity | Canton Public Library’s “Stuff the Truck” Diaper Drive and The Detroit Area Diaper Bank

November 16, 2012
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How important is the support of The Canton Public Library to The Detroit Area Diaper Bank?

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!

Owner Dave Hulett (R) (along with his brother & co-owner Steve) and Mom Cathy Hulett (L) provide the truck for us to “stuff” AND help unload it!

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!

Thank you for helping unload the truck at the end of Day 2! From L-R: Courtney Campbell, Eric Will, Geri Will, Jessica Roland, Bruce Will, Dave Hulett, Cathy Hulett

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.

Girl Scouts from St. Mary in Wayne and Troop 640 in Canton (and someone’s brother!) helped us in the truck

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.

J&B Medical Supply, based in Wixom, brought us a huge donation to help us Stuff the Truck!

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.

L-R: Judge Mark Slavens, State Representative Dian Slavens, Diaper Bank Founder Marybeth Levine, Canton Library Director Eva Davis

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!

THANK YOU, DONORS.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

You can see the truck was STUFFED toward the end of Day 2!

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!

Thank you, EVERYBODY, for another fantastic, record-breaking Stuff the Truck Diaper Drive at Canton Library!
See you next year!!

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Detroit Area Diaper Bank in running for Art Van Charity Challenge

May 18, 2012
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:  Marybeth Levine
(313) 485-8314, malevine@detroitareadiaperbank.org

                                    
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank is in the running for grants up to $50,000 i
n 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.

  


Taking the Timeline Plunge – Detroit Area Diaper Bank Facebook Timeline Covers

February 7, 2012
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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!


The Detroit Area Diaper Bank welcomes Bruce Will into a more formal capacity

January 27, 2012
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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.

Bruce not only helped secure this donation of 27,000 diapers for the Diaper Bank, he also rented a moving truck himself, picked up and delivered them! Talk about above and beyond!

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:

Google Groups
DADB Volunteers
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!


About author

The Detroit Area Diaper Bank was a 501c3 charity that provided diapers to nonprofit organizations in Southeast Michigan from 2009-2014. No federal assistance programs pay for or provide diapers, not WIC, Food Stamps or Medicare. Diapers are a huge hole in the "safety net" for our youngest and oldest neighbors in need. Please continue to donate and make a difference with diapers in Metro Detroit!

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