The Diaper Bank of Sampson County is looking for unique ways to make a difference.
As a local unincorporated nonprofit with the mission of assisting local families who are in need of diapers and other baby basics, educating the public of the ever growing need for diaper assistance and to inspire others in the community, the organization is planning to host a diaper drive Saturday with the hopes of collecting 2,000 diapers.
According to Chris Driver, one of the organizers of the event, something every baby needs is diapers. On average, a newborn goes through eight to ten diapers a day, leading a parent to spend approximately $100 a month per child. This can be very expensive. Driver, along with other supporters, understand the need for assistance in purchasing the must-have item for all babies.
“Most of us don’t necessarily think of diapers when we think of poverty,” Driver said. “We normally associate poverty with things like no food, no shelter of no clothing. Diapers may not seem like a very big deal to us, but can be a large source of stress and guilt for families who simply can’t afford them.”
Diaper banks aren’t unheard of. According to Driver, you often find them in larger cities such as Wilmington and Raleigh.
The idea of starting a diaper bank locally, Driver said, came after the birth of his child last year. It was during a trip to a local store that Driver says he began to realize how expensive diapers are and just how big of a struggle paying for the diapers can be.
“Contrary to belief, there are no federal, state or local assistance programs that help local families with diapers,” Driver said. “Most people assume that WIC, Medicaid or some other safety net program fulfills the need for diapers. This most certainly is not the case.”
The diaper bank has partnered with the Sampson County Health Department for distribution of the diapers, once the diapers are collected. The organization will not directly distribute the diapers, but assistance will be done through the health department.
“The need for diapers isn’t just limited to families who are receiving government benefits,” Driver said. “It’s our coworkers who are currently working two jobs, fellow church members who spouse just lost their job, old classmates and people we interact with daily. Often times we are never aware that they need our help due to guilt and pride.”
Graves Memorial Presbyterian Church and the Young Professionals of Sampson County have been instrumental in helping establish the diaper bank, Driver said.
Diapers of all brands and sizes, as well as wipes and diaper rash cream, will be accepted Saturday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Ribeye’s of Clinton. If someone is unable to make their donation Saturday, but is interested in helping the organization, contact Driver at 910-990-7436 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s hard to imagine that something as simple as a diaper can make a huge difference in the lives of both children and their parents,” Driver said. “That’s why we established the Diaper Bank of Sampson County. We hope to assist all families in need of baby basics and give the entire family a fair chance at self-sustaining life, educate the public of the very real need and hope to inspire others in our community to step up and start making a difference.”
For more information or to become a sponsor, visit the organization’s Facebook page or Go Fund Me page.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.