The Detroit Area Diaper Bank's Blog

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


#GivingTuesday and Fall Drive Goal=obliterated

December 3, 2013
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Black Friday, Cyber Monday … after two days of shopping, a day to give back.

Today is #GivingTuesday.

Please consider a gift today and remember the Diaper Bank in your year-end giving.


We met our big Fall Diaper Drive goal, we shook its hand, and then ran right past it.


THANK YOU to ALL of our Donors and Diaper Drive Hosts and participants and Dropoff Locations. Thank you to volunteers Bruce Will, who picked up most of those diaper drives and donations at our dropoff locations, and Melva Parks, who took ALL of the open and partial packages and loose resources and got them distribution-ready.


Big, big thanks, too, to the Canton Public Library for hosting the anchor event for our Fall Drive for the 5th year in a row, it was another phenomenally successful “Stuff the Truck!” event on November 20th and 21st. A record number of diapers came in again this year, bringing the amount the Canton Library has helped collect for the Detroit Area Diaper Bank to 158,116 over the past 5 years!

 


Our deep thanks, too, to Fat Chef in a Little Coat Catering and the Hulett Family for allowing us to use their beautiful bright yellow truck to “stuff” for the 4th year in a row. And thanks to ALL of the volunteers who came out to help in the truck over the 2 days, particularly Lisa Kluka, who has helped BOTH mornings of EVERY year for the past 4 years!!

You can see pictures from this year’s Stuff the Truck event HERE.


THANK YOU to everyone who made our 5th Annual Fall Diaper Drive such a phenomenal success, it will help us help our nonprofit partners through the holidays and into the winter months. Distributions, in fact, start at the end of this week! Thank you for helping us make a difference with diapers.


THANK YOU to all of our donors and supporters for your help and support in 2013!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


The Detroit Area Diaper Bank in the News

August 14, 2013
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It’s been an amazing few weeks of media exposure for the Detroit Area Diaper Bank and at the perfect time, just as we launched our 5th Annual Fall Diaper Drive! In case anyone missed any of our recent coverage, here are the highlights:

  • On July 29th, Marybeth was interviewed by Health Reporter Sean Lee for CBS Newsradio WWJ 950 regarding a study about diaper need in the journal Pediatrics. Several pieces (like this one) aired during the Jackie Paige show in the 12-1pm hour and were transcribed on their website
  • On August 5th, the Detroit News ran a front-page article about the Diaper Bank
  • On August 11th, the Canton Observer ran a front-page article about the Diaper Bank and our Fall Drive

Such fantastic exposure! We’re so grateful for all of the opportunities. And the launch of our 5th Annual Fall Diaper Drive undoubtedly benefitted, as we crossed the 10% mark of our big fall goal in the first week!

Extra-Extra


The Detroit Area Diaper Bank Turns 4

April 12, 2013
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Today is our 4-year Anniversary!

Since launching on April 12, 2009, the Detroit Area Diaper Bank has distributed more than 1.6 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!

We also have to recognize our ace volunteers Bruce Will and Melva Parks who help us collect and maximize every diaper donated – Bruce coordinates donation pickups and Melva coordinates repackaging and getting open packages and loose diapers ready for distribution. They’re huge keys to our operational success and we can’t thank them enough for all of their time and dedication!

More BIG thanks 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 encouragement we’ve received. THANK YOU.




Did you know?

Since January 1st of this year, the Detroit Area Diaper Bank has already distributed 97,705 diapers and incontinence supplies to organizations serving our neighbors in need in Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, Macomb, and Monroe Counties, and will be distributing another 25-30,000 at our distribution next Friday. THANK YOU for helping us make this very real difference with diapers across Metro Detroit!


Would you like to help us celebrate our big day?

Please make a donation to help us continue helping our neighbors in need during our 5th year! And THANK YOU for all of your encouragement and support these past 4 years!


Please be sure to visit our website, join our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter 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 benefiting 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 — this will be our FIFTH one coming up! From August 1st through Thanksgiving 2013, we’ll need to have as many diaper drives and fundraisers happening across Metro Detroit as possible to meet our challenging goal. We’ve not only met, but exceeded, each of the last four 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 4 INCREDIBLE YEARS!

We are looking forward to many, many more!


            


The Detroit Area Diaper Bank Fills A Gap

February 18, 2013
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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.


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!



A Day In The Life: Diaper Distribution Day at the Detroit Area Diaper Bank

February 27, 2012
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I’m often asked how we distribute diapers, so I made a video while I was distributing today to give an idea of how we work. Big thanks to the representatives from our partner agencies that agreed to go on camera for me!

Click through to get to the video:


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!


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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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