The Diaper Bank of North Georgia is just 1 year old, but it’s already distributed 60,000 diapers to its community partners that distribute them to families in need.
And last week alone, during Diaper Need Awareness Week, Erin Webb, diaper bank chair, said they collected thousands of diapers after a push on social media.
“We weren't even planning on doing a big diaper drive, but just by word of mouth and social media campaign we've had thousands of diapers donated,” Webb said. “Money has been donated to our diaper bank, and we've also had people who held their own drive at work.”
Since last fall, the diaper bank has grown more than the Junior League of Gainesville-Hall County, which founded the diaper bank, ever thought it would.
It’s gone from having just one chairperson with a committee of eight to having a chairperson with two assistants and a committee of 20 people.
“It grew faster than we could have ever imagined,” Webb said. “Which was fabulous.”
The Diaper Bank of North Georgia doesn’t distribute diapers itself. It collects the diapers and sends them to its community partners. It started with just one partner, Family Promise of Hall County, which is a nonprofit that helps homeless families, but has grown to include four more. Families can now receive diapers through Family Promise’s Little Steps Community Daycare Center, Sisu, Gateway Domestic Violence Center and the Hall-Dawson Court Appointed Special Advocate Program, too.
CASA has been working with the diaper bank for just a few months but has already seen it make a difference.
“In July and August alone, we served 28 unique families with children ranging in ages from newborn up to 6 years of age,” said Natalie Vinzant, advocacy director at CASA. “The diapers are going to foster families, relatives caring for children and low-income parents.”
Webb said one example of how the diaper bank has helped CASA was when a family unexpectedly took in a newborn. The family didn’t have diapers, so through the diaper bank, CASA was able to provide them with some to get started.
“I don't think we ever dreamed it would be so touching to so many people,” Webb said. “And I honestly think that has a lot to do with the amazing Hall County community.”
Vinzant gave another example of how the diaper bank has helped a CASA family. She said a woman taking care of her own two children while pregnant with a third has also been taking care of her niece and nephew because of abuse and neglect. The children are all younger than 5.
“The most recent time she came for diapers was about two weeks ago, and she had just been grocery shopping,” Vinzant said. “While loading her car with diapers, the volunteer noticed the groceries and smell of fresh fruit. This young mother smiled while explaining she was able to purchase fresh oranges for the children that week because of the diaper assistance. Fresh produce does not normally fit in the grocery budget.”
It’s stories like that that keep Webb and the rest of the volunteer committee at the Junior League doing what they do with the diaper bank.
Since last fall when the diaper bank officially started, Webb said it’s helped 475 families and over 750 children. And with the continued donations and help of the community, Webb is hoping those numbers never stop growing.
“We accept donations year round through the website,” Webb said. “There’s a way to donate money and there’s an Amazon and Target wishlist … It gets shipped straight to our bank so a lot of people are loving that option.”