WPA Diaper Bank celebrates Diaper Needs Awareness Week
September 19, 2017
The Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank joins the National Diaper Bank Network in supporting National Diaper Need Awareness Week, Sept. 25-Oct. 1.
The Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the National Diaper Bank Network and operated by volunteers, distributes diapers free to families in need throughout the region. The Diaper Bank supplies the free diapers through 29 partner agencies in four counties (Allegheny, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland).
“Diaper Need Awareness Week takes on added significance for us this year,” says Cathy Battle, the Diaper Bank’s executive director. “We also are celebrating our fifth anniversary of providing diapers for children of families in need in the region.”
Since its founding in October of 2012, the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank has grown from serving one county to four, from six partner agencies to 29 that distribute diapers to those in need, and has provided over a half million free diapers. The diaper bank qualified for an additional quarter million diapers in a challenge from Huggies in 2016.
To address the need, the diaper bank’s anniversary will be the occasion of its first-ever fundraising event on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. at the Twentieth Century Club in Oakland. The public is invited to attend and corporate sponsorships are available. Details are at http://www.wpadiaperbank.org. Highmark, Allegheny Health Network, Alpha Kappa Alpha/Alpha Alpha Omega chapter,rghcourier.com; and Duquesne University’s Bayer School of Natural & Environmental Sciences are early supporters.
In the seven Southwest Pennsylvania counties the estimated need of children of families living in poverty is approximately 140,000 diapers per day (74,000 per day in Allegheny County alone) and growing. Disposable diapers cost up to $100 per month per baby. The National Diaper Bank Network reports that one in three American families struggle to afford diapers for their children. At the rate of six diapers per day, diaper wearing children in poverty in the United States require more than 5.8 billion diapers annually.
To shore up the diaper supply, Ms. Battle encourages individuals, companies, churches, civic groups and others to continue their support in several ways.
Diapers can be donated not only during Diaper Need Awareness Week but year round at the following sites:
• Diaper Bank headquarters, New Light Temple Baptist Church, 2546 Centre Ave., Hill District, Tues. from 6-8 p.m.
• Brambler Boutique, 3609 Butler St., Lawrenceville, during shop hours
• Kids+Pediatrics, Squirrel Hill, Cranberry and Pleasant Hills, call for addresses and hours
Sizes 4, 5 and 6 are the most in-demand sizes of diapers. Cash donations can also be made with check payable to the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank or online at westernpennsylvaniadiaperbank.org.
Diapers are not distributed from the donation sites. Those in need of diapers for their families must contact one of the participating partner agencies throughout the area. All sites are listed at westernpennsylvaniadiaperbank.org.
“This Diaper Need Awareness Week is a reminder of the year-round plight of families right here in our region,” says Pastor Phillip Battle, Diaper Bank founder and Board president. “It comes at a time for us to establish a regular diaper supply as winter approaches. The winter months can be especially hard for many families facing the decision between basic necessities such as proper clothing and food and increased utility bills. Programs like this are essential to easing that burden and allowing families to thrive.”
For additional information about the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank, to make an online donation, make event reservations, schedule a speaker or to sponsor a diaper drive, visit http://www.westernpennsylvaniadiaperbank.org.