The CNY Diaper Bank, a local nonprofit that collects diapers for local families in need, is holding its second annual “Make a Mother’s Day” Diaper Drive this May. The diaper bank aims to collect 50,000 diapers — a number that is more than double that of last year’s inaugural “Make a Mother’s Day” Diaper Drive collection of 22,846 diapers.
Community members, businesses and organizations from across Central New York are encouraged to participate by hosting a diaper drive, holding fundraisers, donating diapers at collection points or attending one of the events hosted by the diaper bank throughout the month.
“It’s hard to believe that the CNY Diaper Bank will be a year old this May,” said Michela Hugo, founder. “We are extremely grateful that in just 11 months we have distributed more than 100,000 diapers to families. This all would not be possible without a tremendous amount of support from the community and our growing network of partner agencies. Diapers are a basic need for babies. They cannot go without them. Part of our goal is to raise awareness that diaper need exists and to motivate others to take action.”
Since May 2016, The CNY Diaper Bank has doubled the size of its network from six agencies to 12, moved into a new location and was one of Jet.com’s top fundraisers during the JetCares February donation period. The diaper bank is now distributing over 14,000 diapers and reaching close to 300 families each month.
To kick off its second year, local businesses, churches, Scout groups, neighborhoods and schools are encouraged to help the CNY Diaper Bank expand and grow its reach by hosting their own diaper drives.
The CNY Diaper Bank offers a “Diaper Drive Toolkit” that includes information on how to hold a diaper drive and tips for getting the word out. The diaper bank recommends holding the drive for one to three weeks during the “Make a Mother’s Day” drive, with diapers being dropped off or picked up. Individuals and businesses can also support the cause by volunteering or donating money through “Dollars for Diapers” fundraisers, such as collecting money for an office wide “dress-down day.” The CNY Diaper Bank can then use that money to purchase diapers in bulk for an average cost of just 13 cents per diaper compared with more than 25 to 35 cents.
The CNY Diaper Bank was founded after Hugo learned that local agencies were forced to turn away families who needed diapers. Hugo used the support and guidance of the National Diaper Bank Network to start a diaper bank in Syracuse. An adequate supply of diapers for one child can cost $100 per month, and a healthy child will require about 2,600 diaper changes per year. In addition, families in poverty spend nearly 15 percent of their income on diapers. Furthermore, diapers are not covered by SNAP or WIC benefits.
Diaper need affects families physically, emotionally and financially, and moms who experience diaper need have feelings of guilt and anxiety and higher levels of stress. More than 75 percent of the families the CNY Diaper Bank serves say that receiving diapers has lowered their stress levels.