As many as one in three families in our region struggles to get diapers for their babies.
United Way is bringing together dozens of businesses, nonprofits and volunteers in a massive regional effort to collect 50,000 diapers in 5 days – and strike a blow for better infant health.
The United Way Diaper Drive runs June 16-20, followed by a June 21 Day of Action volunteer opportunity. Diapers will be sorted, repackaged and delivered to more than 45 agencies across Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties.
“The United Way Diaper Drive represents what United Way is all about: bringing together the community to tackle specific problems in meaningful ways,” said Alyssa Stewart, Director of Strategy & Engagement at UWBCKR.
Infants will typically go through 12 diapers a day, and toddlers average eight. That adds up to nearly $70-80 per month, per baby. It’s an added expense that can put major stress on low-income families, Stewart said.
“For families in or near poverty, something as simple as diapers for babies are a source of financial stress,” Stewart added. “Sometimes that means families are forced to leave babies in a diaper for longer than they should, which puts an infant’s health at risk. Even one baby without access to clean diapers is simply unacceptable.”
Infant health is a high priority for United Way, and we continue to work strategically with community partners to ensure that more babies are reaching their first birthday. Infants in the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo region, particularly babies of color or from low-income families, face a high risk of death in their first year.
Community members can make an immediate impact on infant and family health by joining the diaper drive in one of several ways:
- DONATE DIAPERS: Purchase diapers and drop them off in Battle Creek or Kalamazoo at any Kellogg Community Credit Union, OnStaff or United Way BCKR location. While all sizes are needed, there’s high demand for sizes 2-5.
- GIVE ONLINE: If you don’t have time to shop, text DIAPER to 41444 and United Way will purchase the diapers for you.
- COLLECT: Set up a collection site within your company, church or other group. Sign up here.
- VOLUNTEER: Sign up here for a shift and help sort, repackage and deliver diapers to recipient agencies, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the initial five-day drive, volunteers and business partners will round up and deliver the diapers to two volunteer staging sites, where sorting and repackaging will occur. In Battle Creek, the work will take place at W.K. Kellogg Auditorium, 50 W. Van Buren St. In Kalamazoo, volunteers can report to Kalamazoo RESA West Campus, 4606 Croyden Ave. Volunteers shifts are two-hours long and are available June 20-21.
“The need in the community is much greater than 50,000 can diapers can meet, so we’re encouraging everyone to join us and show the region how we can make a powerful difference when we work together,” Stewart said.
Sponsors of the United Way Diaper Drive are UWBCKR, CTI Mechanical Contractors Inc., Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services, Kellogg Community Credit Union, Molina Healthcare, OnStaff Group, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc., and WWMT Newschannel 3.
We encourage you to visit our Facebook event page and share the information with friends and family. Help us change the story for the most vulnerable among us!
- OnStaff Group: 565 W. Columbia Ave., Battle Creek; 5207 Portage Road, Portage.
- Kellogg Community Credit Union: 41 Second St., Battle Creek; 51 W. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek; 1425 Capital Ave. NE, Battle Creek; 6427 B Dr. N, Battle Creek; 2925 W. Dickman Rd., Battle Creek; 15877 W. Michigan Ave., Marshall; 5067 Gull Road, Kalamazoo; 499 Romence Rd., Portage; 1650 S. Drake Rd., Kalamazoo.
- United Way offices: 34 W. Jackson St., Battle Creek; and 709 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo.