Nurturing Nestlings

Nestlings Diaper Bank
One outcome our Women’s Service Day team likes to see as a result of our annual event is the way volunteers continue to network within the community, helping nonprofits that ignite their passion.

This is my personal story about how I was moved to connect with Nestlings Diaper Bank, a clearinghouse that provides low-income families and babies in need with diapers and wipes.

It all started with the planning of Women’s Service Day 2012. We asked Nestlings to create a wish list of tasks for the day. How could our team best help this new organization? Nestlings directors were interested in developing a promotional video. I knew a video guru. But we weren’t going to do a video in one day. So for Women’s Service Day, we provided a crew of volunteers to wrap diapers—a weekly need that helps Nestlings distribute diapers more efficiently.

Women's Service Day crew helps Nestlings

Women’s Service Day crew for Nestlings, October 2012

Meanwhile, I contacted my friend Rick VanGrouw at Ridgeline Video Communications about creating a video. We met with Nestlings directors Tania and Amy, who explained to us the urgent need for diapers in our local community.

I’ve never had a baby, and have only changed diapers on nieces and nephews, and kids I’ve babysat. But I do write a food blog. And something that Tania said during our meeting really clicked with me. “Everyone is worried about hunger and how to feed kids. But no one thinks of the ‘other end.'” And that’s how the spark was lit in me, a woman who never in her life bought a package of diapers, but has crusaded to build awareness about hunger in our country. How awful it must be for parents who can’t afford to diaper their babies.

I learned that one in four low-income parents with infants has to choose between buying food for their family and buying diapers. A baby can go through as many as 10 diapers a day, yet disposable diapers can’t be paid for with government assistance money for food. And if you can’t afford diapers, your alternative is to reuse them—or cut your budget for rent, utilities, or medical expenses. It’s appalling to imagine the discomfort a baby feels and the stress this situation puts on the parent.

So I worked with Rick and Tania and Amy. Together, we created a promotional video that builds awareness about Nestlings Diaper Bank.

In addition to networking, our goals for Women’s Service Day are to make a difference in our community and increase awareness of issues for women and children in West Michigan. I hope this video inspires you to make a difference in the lives of local families by supporting Nestlings and making our community a healthier environment for the babies.

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