(Northeast Wisconsin) For the first time in Northeast Wisconsin, a region-wide diaper drive, to help families in need, was held between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The effort was sponsored by the Eastern Wisconsin Diaper Bank; an initiative of the nonprofit Jake’s Diapers. The results were a success on several levels.
“We collected over 100,000 diapers,” stated Jake’s Executive Director, Stephanie Bowers. “That number alone will make a huge impact on families who don’t have the funds or access to an adequate diaper supply.” Additionally, more than $1,500 in cash donations were collected; mostly through small group efforts like bake sales. Cash donations up to $250 are being matched by CaringCrowd; a crowdfunding platform sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.
“I can’t say thank you enough to all who donated and all the businesses and organizations that participated,” added Bowers. It’s important to note that, currently, there are no federal safety net programs (WIC, food stamps, etc.) that cover the cost of diapers.
But beyond diapers, there were other benefits as well. “We were able to put together a great coalition of local businesses that really embraced the project and they helped raise awareness of this very real need that exists in Northeast Wisconsin,” said Bowers. “Their efforts inspired others to participate. This kind of awareness is what we were hoping for.”
Increased awareness also resulted in additional local agencies coming forward to partner with Eastern Wisconsin Diaper Bank. “We’ve gone from distributing diapers to 10 community partners to now serving over 20 community partner agencies who, in turn, serve more than 1,000 children a month,” added Bowers.
Donated diapers were sorted and packed by teams of volunteers. “So many businesses that participated in the diaper drive also asked to help by volunteering to sort and ready the diapers for distribution” Bowers explained. “It’s just been overwhelming to see all of this happen. We want to keep the momentum going and look forward to helping even more families in the months and years ahead.”
The Great CoverUp Diaper Drive core committee was comprised of representatives from Bellin Health, Schreiber Foods, U.S. Venture, Northwestern Mutual, Thrivent, Jake’s Diapers and Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W. Businesses and organizations participating in the drive included:
- Community First Credit Union
- Bellin Health
- Family & Childcare Resources of N.E.W. Green Bay
- Schreiber Foods
- U.S. Venture
- All Saints Episcopal Church – Appleton
- All Saints Lutheran Church – Oshkosh
- American Antiques & Jewelry – Green Bay
- Apostolic Truth Church – Appleton
- Appleton Public Library
- Breakthrough Covenant Church – Appleton
- Brown County United Way – Green Bay
- DeLeers Construction
- Executive Office Suites/Leonard & Finco
- First Congregational UCC – Appleton
- Jenna Reimer – Northwestern Mutual
- Nicole Tilot – Thrivent
- Nielsen – Green Bay
- Starry Realty – Green Bay
- The Learning Shop – Appleton
- The River Coffee & Cream – Wrightstown
- The Salvation Army Kroc Center – Green Bay
- YWCA of Greater Green Bay
# # #
Jake’s Diapers, based in Little Chute, Wis., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing hygiene essentials to solve diaper need and end period poverty. Established in 2013, Jake’s Diapers was originally created to help 15 babies in an orphanage in Peru. That mission has expanded dramatically through the years. Today, Jake’s has impacted over 15,000 lives in over 20 countries including right here in Northeast Wisconsin. Jake’s is a member of the National Diaper Bank Network and is also rated Platinum on Guidestar, the highest nonprofit rating possible. You can learn more at: www.jakesdiapers.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.