The Detroit Area Diaper Bank's Blog

Our belated THANKFUL post

December 4, 2011
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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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Meet Maggie

September 24, 2011
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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
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PRESS RELEASE
Contact:  Marybeth Levine
The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, Inc.
malevine@detroitareadiaperbank.org
Link to downloadable .doc version is here

Metro Detroit Community Diaper Bank Launches 3rd Annual Fall Diaper Drive

CANTON, MICH. (August 1, 2011) – The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, a Canton-based nonprofit charity providing diapers for people in need in Southeast Michigan, launches its 3rd Annual Fall Diaper Drive today. The Diaper Drive’s goal is to collect 200,000 diapers (or the funds to buy them) by Thanksgiving 2011.

No federal assistance programs pay for or provide diapers, not WIC, Food Stamps or Medicare. Nonprofit organizations and state agencies working with families and individuals in crisis consistently list diapers as an ongoing and TOP need.

An average infant uses up to 12 diapers per day, a toddler up to 8 per day. But in low-income households, a baby may be in a single diaper all day or longer, increasing the chance of health problems and putting the child at risk for abuse. Parents who can’t afford diapers can’t leave their child at daycare to go to work or school. Some children with disabilities never outgrow the need for diapers and seniors who can’t afford incontinence supplies often become home-bound or end up in a nursing home.

The Detroit Area Diaper Bank exists to address this largely unknown and chronically unmet need; the Annual Fall Diaper Drive helps drive donations into the Diaper Bank so that it can fulfill more of its partner agencies’ families’ needs and be able to help through the holidays and start of the new year, a time when donations tend to slow down.

“Our goal for the ‘200,000 by Thanksgiving’ Diaper Drive is of course primarily to bring in resources that we can distribute to our partner agencies working with our neighbors in need. But we also hope it helps to raise awareness about the diaper issue and engage the community in our mission. We are always in need of individuals, businesses, schools, community organizations and places of worship to run fundraisers and diaper drives to support the Diaper Bank, whether it’s before Thanksgiving or not,” said Marybeth Levine, Founder and Executive Director of the Detroit Area Diaper Bank. “The diapers go out just as quickly as they come in, so we are looking for year-round partnerships and support to help us really make a difference with diapers.”

The Detroit Area Diaper Bank’s mission is to raise awareness about the large hole in the “safety net” resulting in the unmet need for diapers in our community’s most vulnerable populations — babies from low-income households, the elderly, people with disabilities — and build a network to help meet it. For more information, please visit www.detroitareadiaperbank.org.

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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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