The Detroit Area Diaper Bank's Blog

Helping Meet Diaper Need Across Metro Detroit

November 5, 2016
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As the Detroit Area Diaper Bank website officially closes, we’re moving the information we’d left on the home page there here to our blog, which will always be available.
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If you’re interested in donating diapers or running a diaper drive, please connect directly with one of the nonprofits listed below.
Thank you for helping make a difference with diapers!
Keep in mind this map shows the main office locations, many organizations serve a much larger area around SE MI; visit their website or call them for more specifics.

WAYNE COUNTY

Adult Well-Being Services
Serving SE MI adults over age 18.

Ph: (313) 924-7860

 

American Indian Health and Family Services
Serving all of Southeast Michigan, the office is in Detroit.

Ph: (313) 846-6030

 

Arab-American and Chaldean Council
62 W. Seven Mile Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203

(313) 893-6172

 

Bright Beginnings / COTS
Supporting homeless families served by COTS in Detroit.

Ph: (313) 831-3777

 

Children’s Outreach, Inc.
Serving children in River Rouge, Ecorse and Southwest Detroit.

Ph: (313) 896-1642

 

Community & Home Supports, Inc.
Based in Detroit, providing services in Oakland, Macomb & Wayne Counties.

(313) 964-2566

 

Community Living Services
The Senior Services division supports seniors in Wayne, Oakland & Macomb Counties.

(734) 722-6389

 

Crossroads of Michigan
Serving Detroit and surrounding areas from 2 locations.
W.Grand Blvd Ph: (313) 831-0213

E. Jefferson Ph: (313) 822-3930

 

Downriver Community Conference
Serving the Downriver and Out-Wayne County areas.

Ph: (734) 362-7070

 

Downriver Fish and Loaves Community Food Pantry
Serving all of Downriver, located in Taylor.

Ph: (734) 442-0031

 

First Step: Project on Domestic and Sexual Violence
Serving Western and Downriver Wayne County.

24 hr. help line: (734) 722-6800

 

Hand Up Inc.
Helping under-served families in Westland, Inkster & other parts of Western Wayne County.

Ph: (313) 523-3991

 

Health Emergency Lifeline Programs (HELP)
Assisting individuals at-risk, infected, or affected by HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C in SE MI.

Ph: (313) 832-3300

 

Helping Operations for People Empowerment (H.O.P.E.)
Serving the people and communities of Metro Detroit.

Ph: (313) 897-5503

 

Help’s on the Way
Located in Dearborn Heights, also serving Inkster, Westland, Detroit, Romulus, Taylor & Lincoln Park.

Ph: (313) 908-7104

 

Infant Mortality Program
Serving Detroit and Wayne County areas, office is in Highland Park

Ph: (313) 868-8420

 

Inkster Department of Human Services, State of Michigan
Serving the Inkster District of Wayne County.

Ph: (313) 792-7700

Matrix Human Services – The Center

Serving Northeast Detroit.

Ph: (313) 526-4000

Northeast Guidance Center – Child & Family Services

Serving all of Wayne County

Ph: (313) 245-7000

Redford Pregnancy Counseling Center

Ph: (313) 952-2147

Rising: Advocates for Young Children

Supporting Detroit families w/young children attending collaborative early care sites as well as those in the community of Brightmoor

Ph: (313) 387-8720

Sara’s House

Serving homeless & pregnant teens in Wayne & Oakland Counties.

Ph: (313) 549-6751

St. Mary Outreach Center
Serving areas in and around the city of Wayne.

Ph: (734) 326-2234

 

Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Westland (in SS Simon & Jude)
Serving parts of Western Wayne County

Ph: (734) 722-1343

 

Starfish Family Services
Serving all of Southeast Michigan with a focus on Western Wayne County, based in Inkster.

Ph: (734) 728-3400

 

The Children’s Center
Serving children from all over Wayne County.

Ph: (313) 831-5535

 

The Lennon Pregnancy Center
Serving Dearborn Heights and surrounding areas.

Ph: (313) 277-5637

 

The Salvation Army – Plymouth Corps
Serving Plymouth and its surrounding townships.

Ph: (734) 453-5464

 

The Salvation Army – Wayne-Westland Corps
Serving the cities of Wayne, Westland and surrounding cities.

Ph: (734) 722-3660

 

The Senior Alliance
Serving Western and Southern Wayne County.

Ph: (734) 722-2830

 

Warm Hearts Organization

Hosts a baby shower 2x/year for low-income moms & new moms in and around Westland.

 

Wayne Co. Dept. of Public Health/
Wayne County Babies/WIC
Serving Wayne County residents.

Ph: (734) 727-7100

 

Wayne Metro Community Action Agency
Serving all of Southeast Michigan

Ph: (734) 284-6999

 

Women In Touch
Serving Detroit, Oakland County & out-Wayne County.

(313) 737-7168

 

OAKLAND COUNTY

Active Faith Community Services
Serving the area within South Lyon School District.
Ph: (248) 437-9790
Mon, Wed, Thurs 10am-5pm

CARE House of Oakland County
A leading resource in the prevention of child abuse in Oakland County.
Ph: (248) 332-7173

Detroit Pregnancy Center
Serving the areas around Oak Park and Detroit’s west side.
Ph: (248) 399-8620

Lutheran Child & Family Service of Michigan
Serving all 7 counties in SE Michigan, main regional office is in Oak Park.
Ph: (248) 968-0100

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Shrine Conference – Royal Oak
Serving people in need in parts of Oakland County.

MACOMB COUNTY

Compassion Pregnancy Center

Serving Clinton Twp and surrounding areas.

Ph: (586) 783-9620

Macomb County Health Department – SE Office

Providing a Diaper Depot for all of Macomb County

Ph: (586) 466-6800

Mt. Calvary Family & Community Center

Food & baby pantry serving S. Macomb Co. & E. Detroit since 1978.

Ph: (586) 759-0190

New Haven Food Pantry

Serving New Haven, Lenox & Ray Township

Ph: (586) 339-0868

 

WASHTENAW COUNTY

Destiny and Purpose Community Outreach (DAPCO)
Serving Washtenaw and Wayne Counties.
Ph: (877) 832-1277 ext. 103

Hope Clinic
Serving Washtenaw and Western Wayne Counties
Ph: (734) 484-2989

Manchester Community Resource Center, Inc.
Serving areas in and around Manchester.
Ph: (734) 428-7722

Saline Area Social Service, Inc.
Serving the Saline Area School District.
Ph: (734) 429-4570

SOS Community Services – Homeless Family Services
Working to end homelessness for families in Washtenaw Co.
Ph: (734) 484-9940

MONROE COUNTY

Serving the city and county of Monroe.
Ph: (734) 243-6550
 
Serving families in need in Monroe County.
Ph: (734) 269-2752

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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 Next Phase of Addressing Diaper Need in Metro Detroit

February 16, 2014
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Thank you to our friends
at the Canton Observer for this
article: Diaper Bank Founder Handing
Reins to Nonprofits and this Editorial:
Diaper Bank Founder Will Be Missed 

Sometimes the New Year really brings THE NEW.

A surprising development came up for my family this new year – we’re moving to Mexico City! While not something we saw coming, we’re excited for the opportunity.

So what does this mean for the Diaper Bank?

As soon as the word came down from my husband’s company that the Mexico move was definitely happening, I started giving thought to how the work I’ve been doing can continue, how our nonprofit partners can continue bringing in diapers for the families they work with, and how they can continue beating the drum about diaper need across Metro Detroit. One thing DADB has proven over the last almost-five years is that when the diaper issue is raised, made a focus, and explained – especially specifying that there is NO support for diapers from WIC, Food Stamps or Medicare — and then you ask the community to help, MANY respond. While “diapers” sat on nonprofit organizations’ wish lists across Metro Detroit for years and years, there hadn’t been concerted effort to tell people WHY diapers are such a big need and how they’re a chronically unmet basic need for our youngest and oldest neighbors. When informed about the issue, most people “get it” – not all, but a lot do. And the incredible support and donor base we’ve grown since 2009 is evidence of that. I have been continually blown away by the response from our community and I want to give our donors and supporters places they can go to continue giving in this unique and much-needed way after I’ve gone.

So I’ve been working with our nonprofit partners to brand and engage their own diaper pantries/banks so we can connect community organizations and donors directly to them — we’re essentially “de-centralizing” the Detroit Area Diaper Bank and moving the focus back to the nonprofits themselves. My hope is that the nonprofits can continue highlighting the need and capitalizing on the momentum DADB’s created. Just as they work to get people on their feet and independent with information, resources and support, we are providing them with all of the information and tools that have worked for us and encouraging them to take ownership over this issue, become independent and able to bring diapers in themselves, and continue educating and advocating around the community about diaper need. I have certainly learned a lot about what works and doesn’t work since DADB launched in April 2009 and I think a lot of our lessons, success and momentum can be transitioned to our partner organizations. I will continue distributing the resources we have on hand and spend down what we have in the bank to buy diapers and continue supplying our partners over the next few months while helping them get their internal efforts up and running.

An example of one of our partners working hard to get their own pantry going is Hope Clinic, based in Washtenaw County and also serving Wayne County. Hope Clinic has been an active recipient partner of the Diaper Bank for years, knows how important diapers are to its clients, and is eager to get its own pantry up and running. I’ve already been able to connect two organizations in Washtenaw County that wanted to run diaper drives for DADB with them and they’re taking over one of our diaper donation drop-off locations.

This is our vision going forward – the next phase of addressing diaper need in Metro Detroit and hopefully the legacy of the Detroit Area Diaper Bank – donors and organizations that care about diaper need connecting directly to nonprofits, and nonprofits that have set themselves up to receive and attract ongoing donations and are connecting with and being found by donors.

Many of our nonprofit partners are still in the process of working through the information I’ve supplied and seeing what they can do internally — once they are ready to “go live”, I will transition our website, which I will keep up for at least a year or two, into a locator of diaper pantries and local nonprofits that need diapers, so keep an eye out for that and I will also share links through social media, our newsletter, and email. We have stopped accepting donations, but there’s still an accessible link to our Partner page on our website that will allow donors to connect with partner nonprofits until the more specific diaper pantry info is made available.

We still have work to do over the next few months as there are still diapers to distribute and partners working to get pantries set up, so you will still hear from DADB, but the message will be more about our partner nonprofits and their efforts and needs. There are also many, many, MANY thanks I need to bestow but I can’t even begin to think about that just yet, that will have to be its own post further down the road. But I do want to say a general and very heartfelt thank you to everyone who has believed, encouraged, and supported me along the way on the journey that has been the Detroit Area Diaper Bank, it would not still be here without the generous, compassionate embrace we’ve received from our amazing community. I’m counting on everyone to continue caring, engaging, talking, or shouting, if need be, about the diaper issue and working together to continue making a difference with diapers in Metro Detroit!

Thank you.  Gracias.  Now, back to work.

5YearsBdgrnd2


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.

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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!!


Today, we are 3!

April 12, 2012
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Today is our 3-year Anniversary!


Since launching on April 12, 2009, the Detroit Area Diaper Bank has distributed more than 1.2 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!

Another big THANK YOU 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 encourgement we’ve received. THANK YOU.


It’s been a while since our last newsletter, so here’s a re-cap of the 1st quarter of 2012:

  • Holidays in Florida produced a picture of Walt Disney sporting a DADB hat
  • We were thrilled to welcome long-time volunteer Bruce Will into a more formal role with the Diaper Bank
  • The Diaper Bank’s “Loose Change For A Diaper Change” fundraising drive kicked off Feb 15th and runs through May 15th
  • Our Facebook page got the Timeline makeover and DADB made Timeline Cover Photos available
  • In response to questions of how we distribute diapers, we made a “day in the life” video
  • We learned that the Diaper Bank is receiving a $1,000 grant from the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency as part of its Community Funding Initiatives Program
  • We received another donation of 70,000 Huggies diapers through NDBN
  • We’re extremely fortunate that many great community organizations and businesses held diaper drives to support DADB – the diaper drive at Ford Motor Company during their Accelerated Action Days produced a great front-page article in the Observer
  • Between January 1st and March 31st, the Detroit Area Diaper Bank distributed 91,122 diapers and incontinence supplies to organizations serving our neighbors in need in Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, Macomb, and Monroe Counties. This doesn’t include the Huggies/NDBN donation of 70,400 diapers — counting those, we distributed a whopping 161,522 diapers to 38 nonprofit and state agency partners in Q1 of 2012.

Please be sure to visit our website and join our Facebook page 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 benefitting 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 — from August 1st through Thanksgiving, we’ll need to have as many diaper drives and fundraisers happen as possible to meet our challenging goal. We’ve not only met, but exceeded, each of the last three 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 3 INCREDIBLE YEARS!

We are looking forward to many, many more!



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!


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!


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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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