I hate diapers! They are expensive, smelly, and gross. Apparently “safety net” programs such as WIC, Food Stamps, and Medicare hate diapers too, because these programs do not cover the cost of diapers.
The cost for a healthy change of diapers can cost $100 or more per month. Daycare centers require parents to leave disposable diapers with their child, so parents who can’t afford diapers can’t go to work or school, causing the vicious cycle of poverty to continue. Nonprofits working with individuals and families in crisis list diapers as an ongoing and top need.
Marybeth Levine lived in Tucson, Arizona, when the Southern Arizona Community Diaper Bank, the nation’s first diaper bank, came into formal existence. Levine was very affected by their work and became passionate about the diaper issue. In 2003 she moved to Michigan and knew she wanted to start a diaper bank to serve the Detroit area. In the spring of 2009, with the economy in the state it was, she knew she needed to get started. The Detroit Area Diaper Bank was launched in April of 2009.
Their mission is to build a network to help meet the unmet need for diapers in their community’s most vulnerable populations – babies from low-income households, the elderly, and people with disabilities. They are located in Canton, Michigan, but they serve all of Southeast Michigan (Metro Detroit).
According to Levine, “We strive to engage as many individuals and groups all over Southeast Michigan as possible to conduct diaper drives and/or fundraisers to support us and help us build a true Community Diaper Bank. We are always providing suggestions and ideas how an individual or group can help make sure we have resources on hand to help our neighbors in need.”
Since their founding, the Detroit Area Diaper bank has distributed over 320,000 diapers, pull ups, and incontinence supplies! In fall of 2010, the organization held a diaper drive that exceeded their goal by collecting over 150,000 diapers!
How can you help?
- The organization accepts any size, any brand of diaper or pull-up, baby through adult. Please check their website for drop off locations.
- They also happily accept financial donations. Levine states, “with our tax-exempt status, we can make a dollar stretch further and get more diapers per dollar [with financial donations].” All donations are tax-deductible and all donated funds go directly toward purchasing diapers and incontinence supplies.
- Individuals and community groups can also run diaper drives and fundraisers. They even have resources available on their website to assist you with your diaper drive!
- You can also make a purchase from their online store. They have bumper stickers, shirts, and more available!