The Detroit Area Diaper Bank's Blog

5 Great Years … the Detroit Area Diaper Bank says Goodbye

April 12, 2014
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Today, April 12th, marks 5 years since I launched the Detroit Area Diaper Bank.

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I knew on that day in 2009 that Metro Detroit needed a diaper bank, that the diaper issue needed to be brought forward and people made aware of the need, but what I couldn’t have imagined on that day is how our community would respond.

SO MUCH generosity, enthusiasm, and compassion! You, our donors and supporters, have helped us collect and distribute almost 2 million diapers to help our neighbors in need over the past 5 years – that’s absolutely amazing. And I hope you will continue your enthusiasm for the issue and remember that this need never goes away. Nonprofits all across the area continue their good works and need your support.

Things are beginning to accelerate toward our move date, so I’m considering today the technical “close” date for DADB. I have one more distribution of adult diapers coming up and then our resources will finally be exhausted. These past 5 years have been beyond fulfilling, an experience I will carry with me always – thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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The Detroit Area Diaper Bank Turns 4

April 12, 2013
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Today is our 4-year Anniversary!

Since launching on April 12, 2009, the Detroit Area Diaper Bank has distributed more than 1.6 million diapers and incontinence supplies for our neediest neighbors through partner nonprofit and state agencies.

We could not have done this without all of our donors and supporters, so we want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to everyone who has embraced our community Diaper Bank and helped us grow so quickly. Together, we really are making a difference with diapers across Metro Detroit!




We have so many donors and supporters to thank, we’re afraid of leaving someone out — so let us first just say THANK YOU to all of the individual donors — those who donated money as well as those who donated diapers — every single donation makes a HUGE difference for us, so THANK YOU for supporting the Detroit Area Diaper Bank!

We also have to recognize our ace volunteers Bruce Will and Melva Parks who help us collect and maximize every diaper donated – Bruce coordinates donation pickups and Melva coordinates repackaging and getting open packages and loose diapers ready for distribution. They’re huge keys to our operational success and we can’t thank them enough for all of their time and dedication!

More BIG thanks to everyone who ran and/or participated in a diaper drive or fundraiser or recognized the Diaper Bank with a grant or award.

And our deepest thanks to all of the local businesses and community organizations that are supporting us and helping us grow in Southeast Michigan. We’re so grateful to have so many people taking an interest in and believing in our mission, we really, truly couldn’t do this without every bit of the support and encouragement we’ve received. THANK YOU.




Did you know?

Since January 1st of this year, the Detroit Area Diaper Bank has already distributed 97,705 diapers and incontinence supplies to organizations serving our neighbors in need in Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, Macomb, and Monroe Counties, and will be distributing another 25-30,000 at our distribution next Friday. THANK YOU for helping us make this very real difference with diapers across Metro Detroit!


Would you like to help us celebrate our big day?

Please make a donation to help us continue helping our neighbors in need during our 5th year! And THANK YOU for all of your encouragement and support these past 4 years!


Please be sure to visit our website, join our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to find out what’s new and happening with the Diaper Bank!
As you start to plan next year’s activities for your community organization, club, school, office or place of worship, please keep the Diaper Bank in mind as your benefiting charity – we would truly appreciate the support!
And it’s never too early to start thinking about and planning for our next big Fall Diaper Drive, too — this will be our FIFTH one coming up! From August 1st through Thanksgiving 2013, we’ll need to have as many diaper drives and fundraisers happening across Metro Detroit as possible to meet our challenging goal. We’ve not only met, but exceeded, each of the last four years’ goals, and we’ll need your help to do it again this year!

Other ways you can help:

Make a donation! Only have a few dollars to spare? Every single dollar helps, so to make it easy, you can Set it and Forget it!

Run a Diaper Drive!

Have extra diapers that have been outgrown or aren’t needed any more? Any size, any brand, baby through adult, we take them all. We accept open packages as well as new packages – someone will be SO grateful to get your leftovers! Please see our list of diaper dropoff locations (and we’ll come pick up if none are convenient to you!).

Click through GoodSearch and GoodShop to make your online searches and dollars do double-duty – or download our custom toolbar and make it a seamless part of your online environment!

If you’re a Kroger shopper in Michigan or Ohio, register your Kroger card through Community Rewards and select DADB as the charity you support, we’ll benefit from your everyday shopping!


THANK YOU FOR 4 INCREDIBLE YEARS!

We are looking forward to many, many more!


            


Cleanliness is next to… what now?

April 23, 2012
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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:

  • I couldn’t buy the tinfoil I use to cook my family’s food
  • I couldn’t buy the plastic wrap to store leftovers in the fridge
  • I couldn’t buy ziploc bags to send my kids’ snacks into school

…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:

  • I couldn’t buy detergent to clean my children’s clothes
  • I couldn’t buy soap or shampoo to keep my children clean
  • I couldn’t buy cleaning supplies to keep our home clean
  • I couldn’t buy tissues for my middle son who goes through them like crazy with his spring allergies (much less allergy medicine to give him some relief)
  • I couldn’t buy toilet paper
  • I couldn’t buy feminine hygiene products
  • I couldn’t buy deodorant or powder
  • I couldn’t buy toothpaste or a toothbrush
  • and if I had a young child, a family member with a disability or an elderly family member with incontinence issues, I couldn’t buy DIAPERS to keep them clean and comfortable.

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?

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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.


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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