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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#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 Launches 5th Annual Fall Diaper Drive

August 1, 2013
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METRO DETROIT, MICH. (August 1, 2013) – The Detroit Area Diaper Bank, a nonprofit charity providing diapers for people in need across Southeast Michigan, has launched its 5th Annual Fall Diaper Drive. The goal of the drive is to collect 250,000 diapers (or the funds to buy them) by Thanksgiving 2013.

No federal assistance programs pay for or provide diapers, not WIC, SNAP (Food Stamps) or Medicare. Nonprofit organizations and state agencies working with families and individuals in crisis across Metro Detroit consistently list diapers as an ongoing and TOP need. The Diaper Bank partners with these organizations, working to give them access to an ongoing diaper supply and increasing their capacity to more fully support our neighbors in need.

An average infant can use 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 it can fulfill more of its partner agencies’ families’ needs throughout the winter holidays and into the start of the new year, a time when donations tend to slow down.

“Our primary goal for the ‘250,000 by Thanksgiving’ Diaper Drive is, of course, to bring in resources that we can distribute to our partner agencies working with our neighbors in need. But we also hope it helps raise awareness of 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 diaper drives and fundraisers to support the Diaper Bank, whether it’s before Thanksgiving or not,” said Marybeth Levine, Founder and 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 Diaper Bank calls upon the community to engage in this effort throughout the fall and conduct a diaper drive or make a financial donation to help reach the overall 250,000 diaper goal. The drive’s anchor event, “Stuff the Truck!” at Canton Public Library, will be held November 20th & 21st from 9am to 9pm each day.

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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Mid-July Means The Detroit Area Diaper Bank Fall Drive is Close!

July 15, 2013
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As we reach the mid-point of July, summer reminders are everywhere – it’s hot, the splash parks are crowded, vacations are what we’re prepping for or recovering from, and the kids are starting to get stir crazy.

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But soon enough, “Back to School” ads will be all over the TV and radio, and that means the Detroit Area Diaper Bank‘s Annual Fall Diaper Drive will be launching!

This will be the Diaper Bank’s FIFTH Annual Fall Diaper Drive – it’s hard to believe time has flown by so fast since the first drive in 2009! The fall drive helps drive donations into the Diaper Bank so it can fulfill more partner agencies’ families’ needs and help through the holidays and start of the new year, when donations tend to slow down.

Keep an eye out for our launch announcement and details about the drive and events this fall, but it’s never too early to start planning how YOU can help make sure the Diaper Bank makes its big fall goal by Thanksgiving 2013. Can you, your family, your office/company, your community organization or place of worship run a diaper drive or fundraiser to support the Detroit Area Diaper Bank?

Please start making plans and spreading the word, the Diaper Bank can only succeed with the help of an engaged and supportive community. Our community has helped the Diaper Bank collect and distribute close to 1.7 million diapers and incontinence supplies to more than 60 nonprofits and state agencies serving our neediest neighbors across Southeast Michigan since 2009 – we need your help to continue making this very real difference with diapers across Metro Detroit!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and get excited for this year’s big Fall Drive!

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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!!


Detroit Area Diaper Bank in running for Art Van Charity Challenge

May 18, 2012
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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.

  


Yes, Even the ‘Diaper Lady’ Will Likely End Up Needing Diapers

February 21, 2012
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I’m 43, I had 3 huge baby boys, and I’m currently suffering from one of those rib-cage-rattling coughs that grabs on and just won’t let go.

The irony is not lost on me that ‘the Diaper Lady’ has found herself shopping in the Poise aisle while battling this cough. And experiencing that fearful hope-beyond-hope that the pad I’m wearing can prevent any ’embarrassing accidents’ when I’m in public and a coughing jag comes on.

This may be TMI for some people, but really, ladies especially that have had children, as we get older, the likelihood is that we’re all going to need some kind of incontinence supply. In fact, I’m sure I’m not the only one in my age-range dealing with this now.

If you’re among the fortunate ones that will be comfortable enough in your retirement to be able to afford the (crushingly expensive) personal hygiene products you’ll need to go on living life normally and discreetly, that’s great. But for scores of seniors who enter their “golden years” with just their Social Security check and Medicare to rely on, it just may not be possible. Most seniors will tell you their Social Security check doesn’t fully cover rent, utilities, food & medicine to get through a month, and Medicare won’t pay for or provide incontinence items.

I imagine what I’d do if I was struggling with this cough, which I can’t control, without the protection for my independence and dignity against “accidents” while coughing, which I also can’t control. I guess I’d stay home and avoid the possibility of having ‘an accident’ in public, but there goes my independence and dignity.

What would you do? What will you do??

Diaper need doesn’t just affect low-income families with babies, it also affects people with disabilities, seniors with incontinence issues, and heck, even Diaper Ladies with a bad cough. Let’s not shy away from these ’embarrassing’ conversations – more of us can relate than you think or that might admit it.


Taking the Timeline Plunge – Detroit Area Diaper Bank Facebook Timeline Covers

February 7, 2012
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So, have you taken the plunge?

Were you an early adopter to the new Facebook “Timeline” layout? Or are you holding out, waiting until Facebook literally force-changes your page?

I’m typically a “stand fast until there’s nothing left to stand on” kind of person in terms of these layout change things. I stuck with the old Twitter interface, ignoring the perma-threat they put on my page that it would be gone any day, until one day, it was gone.

So when news of the new Facebook Timeline interface came along, I’d planned to “stand fast” again. I wouldn’t change from my comfortable, familiar profile interface until they MADE me. I might have tried out the new interface, but found out there’s no “revert” button. Once you go Timeline, you never go back.

But then I read an article about nonprofits creating Timeline Covers for their supporters that provide attractive photos that “fit” the somewhat odd cover photo size, while providing “branding” and message-spreading opportunities for the organizations.

As a small, all-volunteer nonprofit charity, The Detroit Area Diaper Bank is all about maximizing as many free resources as possible that help promote our mission. We try to stay informed on new trends and be nimble enough to get as much on the front-end of what nonprofits are using “out there” as much as possible. (see our Pinterest boards!)

So I set about learning about Facebook Timeline Covers and creating some initial offerings for the Diaper Bank. This, of course, meant that I needed to be able to try out the cover photos — so yes, I had to give up my “stand fast” ways and WILLINGLY convert to the new Timeline interface. Like getting a shot, the anticipation of making the change was much worse than the reality of it. It’s really not bad.

And you know what made it easier? Having an awesome Diaper Bank Timeline Cover photo dressing up my new profile page. Seriously, I truly enjoy it.

So let us help you with your transition! Whether you’re an early adopter or are standing fast, waiting until your hand is forced, when it’s time to find a cover photo to use, please help yourself to one of ours, you can check them out in the gallery, below. It’ll dress up your page AND show your support for our Community Diaper Bank! We’ll keep trying to come up with fresh Covers to add, so please keep checking in on this page for more options.

Change is a’comin’, so go ahead and jump, or wait to be pushed. Either way, we hope we can help you settle into your new Timeline home with a little Metro-Detroit-DADB-flavor. Grab yourself a Timeline Cover now!


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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