It Takes a Village to Meet Diaper Need

Inside at TMC offloading

Pima Federal Credit Union volunteer Ryan Sonnenberg watches as Andy Borga maneuvers a pallet of diapers into a spot at the Tucson Medical Center Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013.

Community agencies help Diaper Bank store 300,000 diapers

Tucson, AZ, October 3, 2013– The community once again showed its unwavering support for the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona by helping the agency find temporary homes for more than 300,000 diapers that were shipped into Tucson Thursday.

Two semis packed with boxes of diapers wound their way from Kansas into town. Knowing that the Diaper Bank has limited resources, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and Tucson Medical Center stepped up with temporary warehouse space.

In addition to space, the Food Bank is also providing people and machine power to make the delivery as seamless as possible.

“The Community Food Bank is very pleased to be helping the Southern Arizona Diaper Bank with their storage needs.  It was fortunate that we had space available and were able to help them with this large donation,” said William D. Carnegie, MNA, President and CEO.

Another major piece of the community effort puzzle was a $25,000 grant from The Fiesta Bowl Charities, which helped cover a large portion of the cost of shipping of the 300,000 diapers. The grant awarded to the Diaper Bank in July 2013, was essential in ensuring that the agency would be able to continue to receive the shipments from the Two Million Diapers for Two Year grant.

In late March 2013, the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona was awarded a grant of 2 million diapers to be delivered over a two-year period from Huggies® and the National Diaper Bank Network. Thursday’s shipment is the second installment of the 1 million allotted for this year.

Another major piece of the community effort puzzle was a $25,000 grant from The Fiesta Bowl Charities, which helped cover a large portion of the cost of shipping of the 300,000 diapers. Presented in July to the Diaper Bank the grant was essential to continuing the receipt of Two Million Diapers for Two Year grant.

The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona only found out Monday that the two trucks carrying the 30,000-pound cargo stacked on 77 pallets were on their way from Kansas to Tucson, according to Lindsey Jones, Executive Director of the Diaper Bank.

“TMC and the Food Bank’s immediate offer of temporary free warehouse space was tremendously helpful,” Jones said. “Without their help we would have ended up paying thousands of dollars to get these warehoused by Thursday. “After the dust settles a bit we will seek longer term warehouse space.”

While the large donation makes a dent in some of the area’s severe diaper need, the sizes provided are very limited. The Diaper Bank not only provides supplies for infants and babies but also for older children with special needs, disabled adults and the elderly. Last year alone there were 1.5 million requests for these supplies and the Diaper Bank was able to distribute only 600,000.

In keeping with the spirit, The Diaper Bank shared its good fortune. Before the trucks reached Tucson they took a small detour and offloaded some of the diapers to a fledgling diaper bank in Albuquerque. The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona donated more than 3,000 diapers to the one-woman volunteer operation in New Mexico.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart to the bottoms of our recipients,” said Susan Dooreck, Executive Director of the Diaper Bank of New Mexico.

Founded in 1994 the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona was the nation’s first diaper bank. In the past 19 years it has grown from a philanthropic endeavor to an organization that partners with more than 50 agencies in Pima and six other Arizona counties. The Diaper Bank seeks to not only provide a much needed to product but to address the root causes of poverty through its relationships with area nonprofits, each of whom provide ongoing case work with their clients.

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