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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank is in the running for grants up to $50,000 in 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.
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!
Contact: Marybeth Levine
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, Inc.
Link to downloadable .doc version is here
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.
# # #
Since launching the Detroit Area Diaper Bank on April 12, 2009, I’ve been asked how and why I started it and have recounted the story so many times, that I figured it’s time to finally write it down.
In December 2000, I was a newlywed living in Tucson, Arizona. One day, while out doing errands during my lunch break at work, I heard the DJ on the radio talking about the holiday diaper drive he was participating in for the Southern Arizona Community Diaper Bank (now the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona).
He said that no assistance programs paid for diapers and recounted stories of parents resorting to scraping off diapers and putting them back on their children. Or laying wet diapers out in the Arizona sun to dry and reusing them, hoping they’d continue to be absorbent. He talked about how children who are uncomfortable don’t sleep well or might have severe diaper rash and cry, and how in an already stressed household, an inconsolable baby is a baby at risk for abuse.
He also talked about seniors on fixed incomes who can’t afford the exorbitantly-expensive adult diapers they need and so they stay home, becoming isolated and increasing pressure on other services like Meals on Wheels and in-home care. And also about children with disabilities who may never outgrow the need for diapers and will need them to go to school or job training.
It was one of those rare, life-changing “lightbulb” moments.
“People who need it can’t get help with diapers?” I said out loud to myself in the car. I was truly stunned. Here I was, a college-educated, informed professional who had worked on Capitol Hill yet had no idea that none of the federal assistance programs – not WIC, Food Stamps or Medicare – paid for diapers or hygiene supplies for those in need.
I immediately turned my car into the parking lot of a grocery store I was passing, bought diapers and dropped them off at the diaper drive where the DJ had been broadcasting.
And the issue of diaper need became a part of who I am.
In March 2003, my husband was hired by Ford Motor Company and moved us to Canton, Michigan.
When we arrived, I knew Metro Detroit needed a Diaper Bank. By this point, my husband, my parents back in Virginia Beach and my friends were used to me talking passionately about diaper banks, what the need for diapers means, collecting diapers and running drives for local shelters, and that I wanted to start one some day. However, at the time we moved to Michigan, I had a 5-month-old son, my mother was sick back in Virginia, we had two more children in quick succession, and then I lost my mom. So life, as it does, happened, and the Diaper Bank couldn’t make it to the front burner.
But in April 2009, my youngest had turned 3 and I was just starting to feel that I was getting some time back for myself. It was the height of the recession and unemployment in Michigan was over 15%. Previously middle-class families were sliding down the economic scale and needed assistance for the first time, increasing pressure on social services that were already strained. Families in poverty were sinking deeper into poverty. I knew I had to get the Diaper Bank started – even if only on a small scale – but I had to start doing something to help get diapers out for those who were so in need.
So I incorporated, applied for 501c3 tax-exempt status, built the website, and with the help of free social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, the Detroit Area Diaper Bank was launched on April 12, 2009. The date holds special significance for me since it is also my mother’s birthday. I know she would have loved the Diaper Bank project and the difference we hope to make for our neighbors in need.
I’m extremely grateful to my family, friends and all of our donors and supporters who have helped the Detroit Area Diaper Bank come to fruition and start to make an impact across Metro Detroit.
I am still just as passionate about the diaper issue more than a decade later and am excited to continue growing our community diaper bank until it’s part of the basic social fabric of Southeast Michigan. Every community needs a diaper bank. I’m proud to say I’ve helped make sure that Metro Detroit has one.
How much money did you spend today? Maybe you got a cup of coffee for $3.50, bought lunch for $11.34 and then picked up a new pair of shoes on the way home for $58.60. What if you could round up each of those purchases to the nearest dollar, and donate the spare change to the Detroit Area Diaper Bank?
Well, our newest partner, SwipeGood, allows you to do just that: maximize your loose change for a good cause – like the Diaper Bank! And while the resulting $1.56 from today might now sound like a little, it could add up to over $20 in donations over the course of the month – without any extra work on your part.
But don’t take our word for it – go ahead and take SwipeGood for a test drive. All you have to do is go to our page on SwipeGood and sign up your credit or debit card. SwipeGood rounds up your purchases to the next dollar, and lets you donate the change to the Detroit Area Diaper Bank. You can even cap your monthly donations, so you are in complete control of the amount of money you donate each month.
How good will it feel to go about your every day shopping knowing that each purchase will help bring clean, dry diapers to babies and seniors in need? I can tell you it feels great – like you have a warm halo over your head.
So what are you waiting for? Learn more, enroll your credit or debit card today and help change the world around you, one purchase at a time.
See, this is why I put off starting a blog for so long, started one, abandoned it, then finally tried again…. I didn’t know how good I’d be at keeping it up. Clearly, I’m not very good at it. When things got busy, while it would make sense that would be the perfect time to keep updating the blog, it’s the thing that got the most ignored. Between website updates, Facebook updates, Twitter updates, newsletters, email and real-life interactions, I updated everyone everywhere except for here.
To make sure that at least the latest news and tidbits from the very busy last 6 weeks or so get recorded on our little blog, I’m going to basically cut and paste all of the entries from our latest email newsletter here:
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank
~ making a difference with diapers ~November 2010
Our THANKFUL edition!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We hope you had a wonderful holiday. Inspired by the theme of the day, we’re sharing our updates for the last month or so through expresssions of gratitude:We’re THANKFUL that we not only met but EXCEEDED our big fall Diaper Drive goal! We challenged the community to help us collect 100,000 by Thanksgiving, and you more than stepped up!
We’re THANKFUL to all the individuals and organizations that have run diaper drives to help us reach our goal and/or participated in fundraisers. THANK YOU for your engagement and support! We can’t do this without your help!
We’re THANKFUL to the Canton Public Library for hosting a phenomenally successful anchor event to our fall diaper drive, “Stuff the Truck!” on November 17 & 18. THANK YOU to Library Director Eva Davis, Marketing Director Laurie Golden, Kristen Kostielney and EVERYONE at CPL. THANK YOU to Dave and Steve Hulett, owners of Fat Chef in a Little Coat Catering, who loaned us their truck for two days. THANK YOU to the volunteers who came out and helped in the cold: Vincent Darolfi, Lisa Kluka, Laura Garvey, Becca Garvey, Katy Bozich and Alexa Rumohr. And most importantly, THANK YOU to all of the donors who helped us collect an amazing 26,312 diapers in just TWO days!
We’re THANKFUL for our new diaper storage SPACE! Thanks to a generous donation from Anna and Dan Oginsky, we were well-equipped to handle the big influx of diapers from all of the drive efforts this past month. We love having the space to work with and our partners are finding it convenient to pick up from as well.
We’re THANKFUL for the feature in November’s Metro Parent magazine – its wide distribution and readership has been fantastic exposure for us. THANK YOU Joni Hubred-Golden for the connection and Kim Kovelle for the fantastic article!
We’re THANKFUL for the Partner In Progress award we received from the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency on October 14th.
We’re THANKFUL to be one of the 50 charities selected by Art Van Furniture (out of 600 statewide) to receive a grant from their Million Dollar Charity Challenge. It was a huge honor to be selected and the $5,000 grant enabled us to buy ~33,000 diapers! (press release here)
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
This is unwelcome news from the State Department of Human Services as the temperatures start to drop in Michigan:
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
Back on July 30th, this is how I announced this year’s fall diaper drive on our Facebook page:
Gearing up – 2 days until the Detroit Area Diaper Bank’s Fall Diaper Drive launches!
August 1st launches our 2nd Annual Fall Diaper Drive. As I considered what goal to set for this year, I reflected on last year — our first drive, we were just a few months old and set what was an ambitious goal for us at the time, 30,000 diapers (or funds to buy them) by Thanksgiving 2009. With great support from our community and donors, we ended up collecting over 54,000 diapers!
An expected move would be to double last year’s goal and shoot for 60,000 this year, right? But we’re all about the UNexpected here at the Detroit Area Diaper Bank so we’re not just aiming to double last year’s goal, we’re hoping to double our TAKE.
So our 2010 Fall Diaper Drive’s goal is 100,000 diapers by Thanksgiving!
Think we can do it? Yeah, me too. So get ready!