The Detroit Area Diaper Bank's Blog

#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!

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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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Detroit Area Diaper Bank Founder is Detroit 20/20’s Person of the Week

July 27, 2013
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Our thanks to WXYZ Channel 7 for highlighting Diaper Bank Founder Marybeth Levine and the mission of DADB during the Detroit 20/20 “Person of the Week” segment on Friday, July 26th’s 5:00 newscast!


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 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!!


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.

  


Cleanliness is next to… what now?

April 23, 2012
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As I got ready to check out from a quick, basic stop at the grocery store, it struck me how many items in my cart I wouldn’t be able to purchase if I only had food stamps to pay with, like so many of our neediest neighbors:

  • I couldn’t buy the tinfoil I use to cook my family’s food
  • I couldn’t buy the plastic wrap to store leftovers in the fridge
  • I couldn’t buy ziploc bags to send my kids’ snacks into school

…and various other sundries that help me run our household. But what really struck me is how many cleanliness-related items I wouldn’t have in my cart:

  • I couldn’t buy detergent to clean my children’s clothes
  • I couldn’t buy soap or shampoo to keep my children clean
  • I couldn’t buy cleaning supplies to keep our home clean
  • I couldn’t buy tissues for my middle son who goes through them like crazy with his spring allergies (much less allergy medicine to give him some relief)
  • I couldn’t buy toilet paper
  • I couldn’t buy feminine hygiene products
  • I couldn’t buy deodorant or powder
  • I couldn’t buy toothpaste or a toothbrush
  • and if I had a young child, a family member with a disability or an elderly family member with incontinence issues, I couldn’t buy DIAPERS to keep them clean and comfortable.

Yes, I would still have food in my cart and I would be able to feed my kids that night, thank goodness. But it’s important to remember that just because a family can shop at a grocery store with the help of food stamps doesn’t mean they can get everything they need.

As a Diaper Bank, we focus on diapers as a basic hygiene need and one that is not paid for or provided by any federal assistance program, not WIC, Food Stamps or Medicare. But there’s no ignoring the fact that NO hygiene needs are covered by these assistance programs, and it’s a larger conversation that needs to be had.

We expect kids to show up clean and healthy for school and perform as well as other kids, regardless of what they’re dealing with at home. We tell parents to go make a good impression in that interview and get that job. But when people don’t have access to basic hygiene items at home to keep them clean and healthy, they can’t compete on an even playing field. They don’t feel good, they don’t look good, they may not even smell good and it DOES affect them – their self-worth is diminished, they are more self-conscious, they feel shame and embarrassment. It will affect their performance at school and at work – if they make it to/through that interview. Do we think a kid that has to use fast-food napkins at home for toilet paper DOESN’T know he’s different?

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We know SNAP (food stamps) is a program under the Department of Agriculture. We get that the likelihood of food stamps ever being stretched to cover non-food items is zip to nil under the USDA. But with technology today, how is it not possible to make an additional subsidy (through the Department of Health and Human Services?) available to families using food stamps to purchase basic hygiene supplies? Barcode technology should make it possible to limit what can be bought to hygiene basics. Hyperbolic howls about “entitlements!” are sure to rise, but a realistic conversation has to be had about what people NEED to get by in America – to get that job, to feel confident at school, to succeed and be independent – besides just food, clothing and housing.

As long as the gaping hole in the safety net exists that doesn’t allow struggling families to have access to basic hygiene items – soap, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and yes, DIAPERS – things needed to compete, to be independent, to “fit in” and “be normal” by today’s social mores, those families will remain at a major disadvantage in society, and left further behind.

We need to do more. It’s easier said than done, I know, but we need to start acknowledging that a very basic need of people is to be CLEAN – to retain their dignity and self-confidence and to know they’re keeping their kids clean and healthy, just as much as they need food on the table, if they’re expected to perform equally and independently in this country.


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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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