The Detroit Area Diaper Bank's Blog

Mid-July Means The Detroit Area Diaper Bank Fall Drive is Close!

July 15, 2013
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As we reach the mid-point of July, summer reminders are everywhere – it’s hot, the splash parks are crowded, vacations are what we’re prepping for or recovering from, and the kids are starting to get stir crazy.

surfingturkey

But soon enough, “Back to School” ads will be all over the TV and radio, and that means the Detroit Area Diaper Bank‘s Annual Fall Diaper Drive will be launching!

This will be the Diaper Bank’s FIFTH Annual Fall Diaper Drive – it’s hard to believe time has flown by so fast since the first drive in 2009! The fall drive helps drive donations into the Diaper Bank so it can fulfill more partner agencies’ families’ needs and help through the holidays and start of the new year, when donations tend to slow down.

Keep an eye out for our launch announcement and details about the drive and events this fall, but it’s never too early to start planning how YOU can help make sure the Diaper Bank makes its big fall goal by Thanksgiving 2013. Can you, your family, your office/company, your community organization or place of worship run a diaper drive or fundraiser to support the Detroit Area Diaper Bank?

Please start making plans and spreading the word, the Diaper Bank can only succeed with the help of an engaged and supportive community. Our community has helped the Diaper Bank collect and distribute close to 1.7 million diapers and incontinence supplies to more than 60 nonprofits and state agencies serving our neediest neighbors across Southeast Michigan since 2009 – we need your help to continue making this very real difference with diapers across Metro Detroit!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and get excited for this year’s big Fall Drive!

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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!!


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.

  


PRESS RELEASE: Metro Detroit Community Diaper Bank Launches 3rd Annual Fall Diaper Drive

August 1, 2011
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PRESS RELEASE
Contact:  Marybeth Levine
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, Inc.
malevine@detroitareadiaperbank.org
Link to downloadable .doc version is here

Metro Detroit Community Diaper Bank Launches 3rd Annual Fall Diaper Drive

CANTON, MICH. (August 1, 2011) – The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, a Canton-based nonprofit charity providing diapers for people in need in Southeast Michigan, launches its 3rd Annual Fall Diaper Drive today. The Diaper Drive’s goal is to collect 200,000 diapers (or the funds to buy them) by Thanksgiving 2011.

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.

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 be able to 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 to 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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Detroit Area Diaper Bank new video and radio PSAs

July 2, 2011
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The Detroit Area Diaper Bank was extremely fortunate to be one of the four nonprofits chosen by East Lansing-based P.R. and Marketing firm Publicom, Inc. to participate in their “Pro Bono Publico!” 2011 event.

The 24-hour marketing and p.r. marathon produced some great printed materials for us and an amazing radio Public Service Announcement AND a great video PSA.

We’re so grateful to everyone at Publicom and especially the team that worked on our project.

To listen to the radio PSA, click here.

To watch the video PSA, click here.

THANK YOU Publicom!!

Pro Bono Publico 2011


1/2 Way to our Fall Diaper Drive’s Big Goal – and still steaming ahead!

October 4, 2010
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October 1st marked 8 weeks since we launched our “100,000 by Thanksgiving!” Diaper Drive and we’re already well-past the halfway mark of diapers/funds collected — it’s fantastic! We’re so grateful to everyone who’s embraced our drive and engaged themselves with our cause, we would be NOWHERE without our donors and supporters!

If you didn’t receive our latest newsletter (it went out 10/1), you can read it here:  http://us2.campaign-archive.com/?u=dfe47a3e09430cdd7241d7a1a&id=a1807e73d4&e=84b904e803

If you’d like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here:  http://eepurl.com/6ZA2

We keep getting great news and gestures of support — it’s going to be amazing when all of the results of these drives and everything else we have going on really start to “hit” over the next month or two!  Please keep checking in on our big Fall Drive page and we’ll continue to post updates periodically!


What I learned at Give Camp…

September 21, 2010
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I never went to camp as a kid. The only camping I’ve done has been with my husband and boys (and I try to get out of that whenever I can). So when I heard about “Give Camp” and saw the logo with the tent-theme, I’ll be honest, I was a little concerned it would involve having to sleep in the woods and make my own fire.

Happily, that wasn’t the case. Rather, Give Camp turned out to be one of the most inspiring, creative and productive (thankfully, indoor) weekends I’ve experienced in a long time. Give Camps are organized by hi-tech development professionals who give up an entire weekend of their lives to address technical needs of selected 501c3 nonprofits. These professionals are people with lives, with families, with things to do. But they sign up and show up at Give Camp, some from across the state or other states, laptops in hand, ready to take on the near-impossible task of creating a full product in less than 48 hours.

The selected nonprofits for the Ann Arbor Give Camp were primarily small, underfunded, labors of love (like DADB). Needs ranged from needing a first website to needing a better website to custom database solutions (like ours). Opportunities like this are priceless for small NPOs — most of us are already stretched to our limits time-wise and have close to zero budget so the chances of getting our hands on custom-built applications are slim-to-none. One of the organizers at the end said they estimated that over 1,400 hours of development were put into the projects over the weekend, which would have equated to well over $100,000 in consulting fees. The database project for our Diaper Bank was completely built from scratch and our development team had, at times, over 7 members busily coding away (and 2 designers dropped in). This entire project is a huge gift and those of us on the receiving end are deeply grateful.

Speaking of gift/giving — I asked the members of our team if they wanted tax receipts so they could write off their time. They each just looked at me, shrugged, and said “nah, that’s okay.” They don’t even claim the time they donate as an exemption! I mean, I’m always happy to donate toys, clothes, etc., but come on, if I can write it off, I do! It just didn’t even seem to be on their radar screens as something they’d thought about. They were just happy to help because they can. Now THAT is the true spirit of GIVING.

My deepest thanks goes to the organizers of the Ann Arbor Give Camp (and for the review committee that accepted our proposal!) And my even deeper thanks goes to the OUTSTANDING group of talented, generous, fun, funny, and TIRELESS developers who gave up so much of their time (and sleep!) to build an incredible, custom, much-needed, web-based, high-speed, awesome, scalable database for a little Diaper Bank in Southeast Michigan: Jamie Wright, our team lead, along with Amber Conville, Sean McMillan, Hilary Robinson, Len Smith and Tim O’Connell. There were other developers and designers who popped in to help at different times throughout the weekend and I’m grateful to them, too.

Computer people, if you want to have one of the best, most rewarding weekends of your lives, keep an eye out for Ann Arbor Give Camp 2011. You will have a great time, do a lot of good, probably sleep less than you have in a long time, but you’ll be so glad you did it in the end. Nonprofits, if you need any kind of technical help, make sure to get a proposal in for consideration next year. You’ll feel like you won the lottery if you get chosen to participate, just like we all did this year.

To wrap up, I thought I’d share some things I learned from our development team and being in the development world over the weekend:

1. Developers don’t like IE. No, let me clarify, they HATE IE. After being thoroughly briefed on the subject by my team, it did not escape my attention that every developer who opened a browser to show their project at the end opened Firefox.

2. Developers are quiet, focused and INTENSE when they’re working. It’s an amazing energy when you walk into a development room, especially when there’s a team of people hip-deep in code and making things work.

3. Developers are fun to be around – they’re smart and seem to have dry-tending-toward-sarcastic humor, which I find enjoyable.

4. Developers have cool stuff and know how to make stuff work.

5. Developers laugh if they see a “visitor counter” on a website.

6. Despite what you’ll hear from PR-type professionals that it should be banned and never used, developers couldn’t care less if you have Comic Sans on your site or not. In fact, one developer told me he wouldn’t care — or notice — if you had 3 different fonts on your site.

7.  Developers like ink. I’m pretty sure I detected at least one tattoo on each member of our team. They are also the only people who can wear those clever “techie” t-shirts and get away with it.

8.  Developers speak to each other in a foreign language. If you’re in a room with developers hashing out a project, even if you know a modicum of l33t-speak, it’s likely all you’ll hear in your head is Charlie Brown’s teacher. So just nod, smile, agree when they seem to agree and try to look busy on your own computer – they’ll let you know when they have a question or need your input on something. But until they do, just sit there playing solitaire or surfing Facebook and realize that you are completely out of your depth and technical league. And be glad there are people in the world that know it, love it and are generous enough to share the product of it with the rest of us.


Detroit Area Diaper Bank selected for 2010 Ann Arbor Give Camp

September 11, 2010
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We’re excited and grateful to be one of the charities selected for this year’s Ann Arbor Give Camp,  happening the weekend of September 17th. Give Camps are organized around the country by technical professionals who donate a weekend of their time to create technical solutions for participating charities. Developers volunteer to spend one weekend (and they do stay there – many stay up – the ENTIRE weekend) creating software/technical solutions for chosen charities. Their tagline, which I love, is “geeks giving back”.

The proposal we submitted for the Detroit Area Diaper Bank was for a database/information collection/management system to allow us to more easily track diaper deliveries to partners and parse the data. It may be something really basic (but surely better than the Excel spreadsheet currently in use) or much more high-speed and web-based — it all really matters first, on the kind of developers who volunteer and what their skill-sets are, and second, how much they can really do in 48 hours. 

Regardless, we’re thrilled we get to be a part of it and we’ll happily accept some free, custom, proprietary software any day! Thank you to everyone at Ann Arbor Give Camp!


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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