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.

  


Before jumping into 2012 posts, let’s wrap up 2011!

January 21, 2012
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2011 – What A Year!

 *note: this content is from our 12/20/2011 year-end newsletter*

We’re deep into the holidays and the new year is around the corner – time to reflect on and wrap up this year and send out our thanks and gratitude to everyone who helped us get here. I’m still working on year-end numbers and paperwork, but I can tell you that 2011 was a huge year for The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, all thanks to YOU, our donors and supporters.

  • Our cash income was certainly helped by grants we were fortunate to receive over the year, but we also had a big rise in both individual and group donations, so THANK YOU!
  • Our major fall diaper drive was once again beyond successful, I can’t even begin to thank all of the individuals and organizations that contributed to our not only meeting, but exceeding, our big goal of “200,000 by Thanksgiving” and ended up with over 204,000 diapers collected! Please see our drive page and more importantly, our drive DONOR page, for more. And I have to highlight our anchor event, the “Stuff the Truck!” Diaper Drive that the Canton Public Library hosted that collected over 30,000 diapers in just TWO DAYS! You helped us help SO MANY of our Metro Detroit neighbors in need in 2011 – thank you!
  • We saw continued growth in the number of both individuals and organizations that ran diaper drives and fundraisers for us this past year (see a list here) – HUGE THANKS to everyone who ran and/or participated in a drive, you are absolutely critical to our success! If you ran a drive last year, please consider running one for us again in 2012 — and if you haven’t run one in the past, please consider starting one this upcoming year!
  • Our partner network grew to over 55 recipient agencies who are actively receiving diapers from the Diaper Bank to help their clients in need. The largest number of our partner agencies are still in Wayne County, but we have also increased our recipient partners and distributions in Oakland, Washtenaw, Macomb, Monroe Counties and even St. Clair. You can read feedback from some of our partners about their experiences with the Diaper Bank. Here’s a visual overview of our distributions this and past years – you can see the growth in both the numbers of resources distributed along with areas served:
  • We started the year having distributed ~326,000 diapers to our recipient partner agencies — we’re ending the year having distributed a total of 1,079,139. Huge donations from Huggies from their “12 Days of Giving” 12-city cross-country tour certainly helped spike that number in November and December, but even without those added resources, the Diaper Bank would have seen significant growth thanks to the support and engagement of our community and donors.
  • But thanks to the huge influx of resources at the end of the year, the Detroit Area Diaper Bank did cross the huge milestone of 1 Million Diapers Distributed on December 6, 2011!

I don’t think I can ever give full thanks to everyone who contributed to our success and helped us pursue our mission this year. SO MANY people have been part of our community diaper bank’s growth and success — you know who you are, and I hope you know how deeply, deeply grateful we are to you.
We wish you and yours the Happiest of Holidays and we look forward to continuing our good work together in 2012!


The Detroit Area Diaper Bank’s Guide to Making Your Own Baby Wipes

October 25, 2011
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I was chatting with Sharon Daniels from one of our recipient partner agencies the last time she came to pick up diapers and somehow during the conversation it came up that she makes her own baby wipes. Though her daughter is way past the diaper stage, she still makes them for family camping trips, to keep in the car to refresh hands, wipe things up, etc. She also said recommends the ‘recipe’ to families she gives diapers to and I thought that sounded like a great idea.

Inspired, I asked her for the directions so I could try them out and also share with our other partners and anyone else who might come to us that needs wipes.  

So I have just given them a try and am including a step-by-step pictorial of my wipes-making-adventure below. If you would like to try them yourself, here are the materials you’ll need:

1 large roll of paper towels (cut in half)
1 Bowl (the size of one half of the roll)
3 TBSP of baby shampoo (any kind)
3 TBSP baby lotion (any kind)
2 Cups of boiling water

Step 1: Use a large serrated knife to cut a roll of paper towels in half (Sharon mentioned Bounty select-a-size, I have the Kroger version of select-a-size on hand so am using those)

Step 2: Add the baby wash and baby lotion to 2 Cups of boiling water in the container and whisk it all together. I have the Kroger brand of baby bath and the Target brand of baby lotion on hand – any can be used. If your child is allergic to perfumes and you need to use unscented, keep an eye out for mold if the wipes sit around too long. I read one article about homemade wipes that said they think that the alcohol content in the perfumed baby bath is probably what helps keep mold at bay. If you make a huge batch and don’t use them quickly, make sure to keep an eye on them and throw them away if they sit too long and show signs of molding.

Step 3: Place half the roll of paper towels in the container and put the lid on, then shake. If the top pops, keep putting it back on and keep shaking. Then turn the bowl upside down and leave for a couple of hours, checking in and shaking it now and again.

(full disclosure – in order to get the roll to fit in this container I was using, I had to cut it down to about 1/3 size – so make sure you have a container with a tight-fitting lid that fits a 1/2 roll before you start the process)

Step 4: Flip bowl back over and remove the cardboard tube from the center of the roll. Pull individual towels out and you have baby wipes!

As you can see below, I tore individual sheets and laid 50 of them in an old wipes container I still have to see if I could access and use them like I used to use baby wipes when the kids were small; I also made a pile of 25, folded them in half and put them in a small ziploc to keep in my purse; and then made a pile of 40 and put them in a large ziploc bag to keep in the car or van. So counting the ones I used first to try them out, I got ~120 usable baby wipes from just that 1/2 (1/3) tube. I have the other 1/2 soaking now, and I turned it sideways into a different bowl with lid so I didn’t have to cut that one down. I should get at least another 120 wipes from that 1/2 (and they’ll be slightly larger than the first set), so that means I’ll get ~240 baby wipes out of just one roll of paper towels and a few tablespoons of baby wash and lotion I already had on hand.
And the final test – I gave each of the boys a wipe to try — they gave them very high marks! They all thought they felt good, felt like a baby wipe and like how they smell. So that REALLY makes them a success – I highly recommend this ‘recipe’, will be sharing it with our partners and will make the information available on our website, hoping that anyone that comes to our site looking for help with diapers might find this useful as well.

I THANK Sharon for the inspiration and instructions. And boy, do I wish I knew about this when my kids were still in diapers!


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.

# # #


A Looong Overdue 2010 Thank You and Happy New Year wish!

January 21, 2011
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Thank you for a fanastic 2010!

Please see our year-end newsletter for more.

Looking forward to a great 2011!


Every little tweet helps…diaper facts and impacts

November 23, 2010
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FROM OCTOBER 29, 2010:  I got on a bit of a roll on Twitter this morning, tweeting about the Facts and Impacts of diaper need. I’m copying the stream of tweets here to compile them in one place and share. (we also have a page dedicated to this on our website: http://t.co/NkhKlh0) Please keep in mind that Twitter limits posts to 140 characters, so that’s why some words may be spelled strangely (vowels dropped, etc).

A HEALTHY change of diapers for an infant is up to 12 diapers per day, a toddler up to 8 per day. #diaperfact

Many low-inc families can’t get to grocery/discount stores, shop at corner stores they can walk to, only sm packs of dprs, very overpriced.

So if they need to spend $7.50 for a pack of 10 diapers, that may be all the cash they have, and why they need to make those diapers last.

So instead of 8-12 dprs a day, a low-income baby may spend all day or longer in the same diaper. Some parents scrape/reuse dprs. #diaperfact

Babies left in soiled diapers for long periods of time are at risk for serious health and safety issues. #diaperimpact

Uncomfortable babies cry & don’t sleep well, adding stress to an already-stressed household — recipe for abuse. #diaperimpact

Parents must leave disposable diapers w/their child at daycare; if they can’t afford diapers, they can’t go to work or school. #diaperimpact

Nonprofits & state agencies working with individuals and families in crisis list diapers as one of their TOP and ongoing needs. #diaperfact

Diapers & adult briefs are not paid for or provided by WIC, Food Stamps or Medicare. They are a huge hole in the “safety net”. #diaperfact

The Detroit Area Diaper Bank was launched in April 2009 to make a difference with diapers in Metro #Detroit. http://bit.ly/ldvaX

Metro #Detroit had a Diaper Bank before Diaper Banks were cool. #diaperfact #diaperbank #aheadofthecurve

The “safety net” may have forgotten diapers, but we remembered. Please support your community Diaper Bank! http://bit.ly/ldvaX #detroit

The #Detroit Area Diaper Bank RECIPIENT PARTNER AGENCIES http://t.co/QkUHg4l

Seniors on fixed incomes have difficulty affording incontinence supplies. Many are already choosing between food, meds, rent. #diaperfact

If they can’t afford diapers, they may become homebound for fear of having an “accident” while they’re out. #diaperfact

Losing independence/becoming homebound can lead to isolation & depression, also add pressure to services like Meals on Wheels. #diaperimpact

Family caring for an incontinent senior faces added stressors, costs, frustrations – can lead to elder abuse. #diaperimpact

Incontinence is one of the leading reasons older adults end up in nursing homes. #diaperimpact

Seniors deserve to maintain their dignity and independence, but adult briefs & incontinence supplies are cripplingly expensive. #diaperfact

The #Detroit Area Diaper Bank works to get diapers to agencies working w/ seniors in need, protecting their health, independence & dignity.

The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, making a difference with diapers in Metro #Detroit. http://bit.ly/ldvaX #diaperfact #diaperimpact


Nothing’s worse than a wet diaper on a cold night…

October 4, 2010
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This is unwelcome news from the State Department of Human Services as the temperatures start to drop in Michigan:
——————————-
9/28/2010
SER Caps

Due to a potential decrease in federal LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) funding for the upcoming fiscal year, the energy caps must be lowered. Therefore, effective October 1, 2010 the caps for energy services provided by State Emergency Relief (SER) will be decreased as follows:

Natural Gas, Wood and other fuel types except fuel oil, propane (LP gas) and coal: decrease from $850 to $350.
Deliverable Fuel – fuel oil, propane (LP gas) and coal – decrease from $850 to $650.
All Electric Household – decrease from $1700 to $700.
Electricity – decrease from $850 to $350.

REMINDER: All pending SER requests should be certified by September 30, 2010, if possible.
————————————
The mission of LIHEAP, as described on the michigan.gov website is:  to assist low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes, that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs.

It’s a noble mission. Very much needed in a northern state like Michigan. And I know times are tight and the state budget has been hit six ways from Sunday, but no matter how you look at it, those are some steep cuts in home energy assistance and it means that too many people will be left out in the cold — literally — when the funds run out. That will be incredibly hard on those most in need who have no options to turn to for relief. And now imagine being a baby or person with a disability or adult with incontinence issues trying to sleep in the cold in a WET diaper.

Hopefully we’ll find ways to help people most in need keep warm this winter and maintain livable environments for their families — but let’s for darn sure make sure they’re at least not having to go to bed in a sopping wet diaper!

The Detroit Area Diaper Bank making a difference with diapers


Support for the Diaper Bank came from far and wide…

September 6, 2010
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We were excited when we learned that GoodSearch was planning to feature the Detroit Area Diaper Bank as its “Charity of the Day” yesterday, but we were beyond thrilled when we realized the benefits it brought. Besides the traffic to our site, it brought requests for information for publications and DONATIONS. Most significantly, donations from outside of Southeast Michigan. WAY outside.

I asked one donor who donated all the way from sunny New Mexico how she’d heard of DADB. Here is part of the response she sent me:

“Well, I try to use Good Search or Good Shop to benefit the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary here in NM and when I went to Good Search today your charity was highlighted on the left side of the site as the Charity of the Day. It caught my attention immediately and that’s how I found you guys.

I’m so glad to help because I know how expensive diapers were when my girls were babies! And I know how expensive Depends are because a friend’s mom uses them and they stock up when Costco has the coupons. I know Detroit has been hit hard by this bad economy and I just wanted to do something to help. I feel that those of us that can help others should and those that can’t might be able to help others later – and who knows, we might be the ones they end up helping.”

Another donor, from San Antonio, TX, said she’d grown up in Metro Detroit and still has family here so “a donation was an easy decision” for her.

We value ALL of our donors, of course, but to know that we resonated with these donors to this extent and from that far away is really fantastic. We’re grateful to GoodSearch/GoodShop and to everyone who took note of our logo on the site yesterday and clicked through to find out more. And most of all, if you’re here reading this right now on our little blog, we’re grateful for YOU. A community diaper bank can only be successful and sustainable with the support of caring, interested individuals and organizations, and we value every single supporter we have. Thank you!


Detroit Area Diaper Bank on GoodSearch/GoodShop

September 5, 2010
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We’re the featured charity today on the GoodSearch and GoodShop homepages!

We’re grateful for this opportunity — we’ve received contacts, donations and inquiries from places far away from Southeast Michigan, it’s such great exposure!

GoodSearch/GoodShop is a fantastic way for people to support the Diaper Bank with their every-day online activity. We receive $.01 per search and varying percentages of purchases when you click through GoodSearch/Shop and have chosen DADB as your charity of choice. We also have a customized toolbar you can download that will give you immediate access to the yahoo search bar to benefit us and will know when you’re shopping on a site that supports Good Shop. You literally won’t have to do anything, you do your normal shopping and DADB will automatically get credit! You can download our toolbar here.


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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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