The Detroit Area Diaper Bank's Blog

The Detroit Area Diaper Bank Fills A Gap

February 18, 2013
Leave a Comment

A school social worker put an emergency call into one of our recipient partners, a local Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

A severely disabled 11-year-old boy is in their programs and his low-income parents are having trouble keeping him in a supply of adult-size Large diapers. Diapers are an ongoing and crushing expense for this family, this is a child that has never been out of diapers and will never potty train.

This is the gap a community Diaper Bank can help fill. Parents of a severely disabled child already have so much on their plate, keeping him clean with a healthy supply of diapers is an emotional and financial stressor we can try to help alleviate through our nonprofit partner. We were able to get a supply to our partner who got them to the social worker the next day.

Thank you for helping us make this very real difference with diapers.

Advertisements

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
Leave a Comment

How important is the support of The Canton Public Library to The Detroit Area Diaper Bank?

Since 2009, Diaper Drives hosted by Canton Library have brought 113,153 diapers into the Diaper Bank for distribution to our neighbors in need across Metro Detroit!

This is what these past 4 years of our diaper drive partnership with CPL has looked like:
2009 (1st drive, drop off inside the library): 17,254 diapers
2010 (1st Stuff the Truck drive): 26,312 diapers
2011 (2nd Stuff the Truck drive): 30,813 diapers
2012 (3rd Stuff the Truck drive): 38,954 diapers
The drive has grown every year, and we have SO MANY people, organizations and companies to thank, starting with, of course, the fabulous Canton Public Library.

We’ll always be beyond grateful they “found” us on Twitter just months after we launched in spring 2009 and expressed interest in hosting a diaper drive for us. We literally built our first fall drive around them in 2009, having an overall goal of collecting “30,000 by Thanksgiving” and made the Library drive the “anchor” event to the fall diaper drive. We collected more than 1/2 of the original goal during just that one day drive and smashed the 30K goal that fall by more than 20K diapers. And look at us now! Collecting more than twice that 1st library drive amount during Stuff the Truck 2012, helping us to reach toward our ambitious “200,000 by Thanksgiving” fall diaper drive goal!

We couldn’t have grown the Library drive from an in-lobby effort to the size it is now without the generous support of Fat Chef in a Little Coat Catering Service, a fantastic Canton-based company owned by the Hulett Family who selflessly give up use of their bright yellow truck for two days so we can park it in front of Canton Library and “stuff” it full of diapers. Not only do the Huletts drive the truck over to our storage space at the end of night 2 and help us unload, Mom Cathy Hulett brought us THE most delicious meat-lovers pizza to keep us fueled up through the final few hours at the truck last night! You have to check out the amazing food they offer at their new storefront in Cherry Hill Village!

Owner Dave Hulett (R) (along with his brother & co-owner Steve) and Mom Cathy Hulett (L) provide the truck for us to “stuff” AND help unload it!

We are always thankful to our ace volunteers Bruce Will, Melva Parks and Jessica Roland, who work continuously and tirelessly to support the Diaper Bank throughout the year, but stepped it up even more the last two days. Shout-out to Melva’s granddaughter Kendall, who has a big future in diaper-package sealing, counting and stuffing!

Thank you for helping unload the truck at the end of Day 2! From L-R: Courtney Campbell, Eric Will, Geri Will, Jessica Roland, Bruce Will, Dave Hulett, Cathy Hulett

And our great in-truck volunteers this year: Lisa Kluka (3rd year in the truck!), Marybeth Miller, St. Mary Girl Scouts from Wayne (and Bridget Jarvis and other parents!) and Girl Scouts from Troop 640 in Canton, Laura Dyas, Darius Daneshyar, Carlye Petro, Ed Weidenbach. Lisa, Marybeth M., and Jessica came for chunks of time on BOTH days — we’re so grateful for ALL of the volunteers, not only do many hands make light work, but everyone was great company and made the time fly by.

Girl Scouts from St. Mary in Wayne and Troop 640 in Canton (and someone’s brother!) helped us in the truck

Most of all, our deepest, most sincere thanks to all of the DONORS. The generosity of our community never ceases to amaze me. We received some very large donations from companies like J&B Medical Supply and organizations like The Livonia Senior Center. We also received some huge diaper collections from diaper drives like the one at The Funky Frog Children’s Resale Boutique in Rochester and church groups and community organizations, some of whom we didn’t even realize had been collecting for us. We also received some very generous financial donations, which will help us purchase additional diapers.

J&B Medical Supply, based in Wixom, brought us a huge donation to help us Stuff the Truck!

The large donations definitely had an impact on how quickly the truck was “stuffed”, but I will personally never get over the number of times a car would pull up in the loop in front of the Library and stop just to have someone walk a pack of diapers over to us, get back in their car and drive off. It happened over and over and over throughout the two days, and it was just the most amazing, heartwarming thing to see.

We loved meeting and thanking and talking with our neighbors, seeing so many people from so many places around the region, coming to donate diapers for those in need.

L-R: Judge Mark Slavens, State Representative Dian Slavens, Diaper Bank Founder Marybeth Levine, Canton Library Director Eva Davis

Many people said they donated last year and looked for the drive again this year, many people just heard of it for the first time this year but already pledged to help again next year. We’ll still be picking up diapers from some donors throughout the next week – some couldn’t get the diapers to us during the two days, some could only fit part of what they have to donate in their car. Diapers continue to be dropped off at the Library today and probably will throughout the next couple weeks.

The final count of donated diapers at 9 pm last night was 38,954!

THANK YOU, DONORS.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

You can see the truck was STUFFED toward the end of Day 2!

And a quick, final thank you to Mother Nature, who finally came through with a couple of very nice days for us. After having 4 of the coldest November days over the last two years, including having sleet blow in on us IN the truck last year, two sunny days in the mid-to-high 40s made a very fun event all the more pleasant. So thanks for not having fun at our expense, this year, Ma Nature!

Thank you, EVERYBODY, for another fantastic, record-breaking Stuff the Truck Diaper Drive at Canton Library!
See you next year!!


Detroit Area Diaper Bank in running for Art Van Charity Challenge

May 18, 2012
Leave a Comment

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.

  


Today, we are 3!

April 12, 2012
2 Comments

        


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!



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

January 21, 2012
Leave a Comment


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!


Our belated THANKFUL post

December 4, 2011
Leave a Comment

What an amazing fall we’ve had – I’m late in posting this to our blog, but we did send out a THANKFUL newsletter right after Thanksgiving – our post is below:

We are THANKFUL!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday.  Inspired by the theme of the day, we’re sharing our recent updates through expressions 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 200,000 by Thanksgiving to help our neighbors in need, and you MORE than stepped up – thank you!! 

We’re THANKFUL for all of the donors and 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 make a difference with diapers without your help!

We’re THANKFUL to the Canton Public Library for hosting another phenomenally successful anchor event to our fall diaper drive, “Stuff the Truck!” on November 16 & 17. THANK YOU to Library Director Eva Davis, Marketing Director Laurie Golden, 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 ALL the volunteers who came out and helped in the wind and the cold. And most importantly, THANK YOU to all of the donors who helped us collect an amazing 30,813 diapers in just TWO days! The Library’s photo album of the event can be seen here

We’re THANKFUL for our larger diaper storage space, donated by Extra Space Storage in Canton! We’ve already outgrown the space Extra Space donated to us last year, and they were generous enough to offer us a larger unit – such a great community partner!

We’re THANKFUL to have been one of the 12 stops on Huggies’ “12 Days of Thanks” cross-country tour. On November 21st, The Detroit Area Diaper Bank received 250,000 diapers from Huggies! We had a huge distribution the same morning as the donation, sending 36 of our nonprofit partner agencies off with most of the 250K diapers. Seeing the partner response and how much need we’re serving in Metro Detroit, Huggies is donating ANOTHER 182,000 diapers to The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, to be received and distributed in early December! Pictures from the big donation/distribution last week can be seen here. And a HUGE THANK YOU to MSA Delivery Service in Canton for making the donation and distribution possible with their facility, equipment, staff and generosity!

We’re THANKFUL for some great recent press coverage, including several front-page articles in the Observer, like this one about the Fall Diaper Drive and this one about the Huggies donation.

We’re THANKFUL that because of your donations and support, we’re able to help our neighbors, like Maggie.

We’re THANKFUL to everyone supporting the Diaper Bank through their everyday shopping at Kroger and through GoodShop. It adds up and really makes a difference for us!

We’re THANKFUL for your encouragement, engagement, support and help in building our community diaper bank and making a difference with diapers in Metro Detroit!  THANK YOU!

And now that we’re past Thanksgiving, we can officially start saying Happy Holidays!


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

October 25, 2011
6 Comments

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!


Meet Maggie

September 24, 2011
Leave a Comment

Maggie, 86, has lived in her home in Warren for the last 35+ years and still takes care of herself. She has a son nearby who checks on her and helps her out, but the only other support she receives is Meals on Wheels. She lives entirely off of her Social Security check, which she said barely, and often doesn’t, stretch the whole month.

Following an illness and hospital stay, Maggie experiences urinary incontinence and uses pads to limit accidents when she can. On top of being costly, Maggie says the pads she’s used are thick and uncomfortable and chafe her. She has to carry several with her if she leaves the house in case one gets wet, but then, she says, “I’m embarrassed and afraid someone will see them in my purse.”

So Maggie usually stays home. “It’s not as big a deal if I have an accident around here,” she says.

She keeps one diaper her neighbor gave her in a drawer, waiting for the day she has to go to her doctor appointments. Maggie was positively effusive about how fantastic the diaper was – the last one she wore “fit her like a glove”, it didn’t leak, it was comfortable, and she wasn’t worried about having an accident. You’d think adult diapers were a brand new thing on the market, listening to her go on about them.

But to Maggie, they’re a luxury. They’re expensive and she can’t get out easily to get them.

After reading this article in the Warren Weekly, Maggie called both the article author and me, asking about the Diaper Bank and explaining her situation. “I just thought I’d give it a try and see if this might be what could get me some help. It just seemed like such a blessing,” Maggie told me.

Thanks to all of our generous donors and supporters, the Detroit Area Diaper Bank can help make sure Maggie has access to the basic hygiene items she needs to be more comfortable both at home and when she leaves the house.

Maggie 09-23-2011

Dignity. Independence. Health. Security. Confidence. Aren’t those the things that everyone in their golden years deserve?

Aren’t those the things we all want?

Helping wonderful neighbors like Maggie is exactly why the Detroit Area Diaper Bank exists. Maggie could not have been more touched, thrilled or grateful.

This is what it’s all about.

Thank you to everyone who supports us, encourages us and helps us make a difference with diapers!


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

August 1, 2011
Leave a Comment

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.

# # #


Founder’s Story: The Detroit Area Diaper Bank

July 31, 2011
1 Comment

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.


Next Page »

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!

Search

Navigation

Categories:

Links:

Archives:

Feeds

%d bloggers like this: