Since August, we’ve been promoting Women’s Service Season, four ways to help women and children in our community:
- Volunteering in-person (safely) or from home
- Giving financial support
- Giving or collecting items nonprofits need
- Joining (and spreading the word about) events nonprofits themselves are planning
Some of our planning team members decided to coordinate a volunteer project ourselves to show how safe it can be to help our community, especially in this time of urgent need.
In operation since 2011, Nestlings Diaper Bank has been near and dear to the Women’s Service Day team since we began partnering with them in 2013. This agency serves as a central location to collect, store, and distribute diapers that have been donated by the local community or purchased through fundraising efforts. Diapers are one of the top unmet needs for low income families. One in three families living at poverty level struggles to diaper their babies and children. Yet diapers and wipes are not provided by any government assistance programs.
When COVID hit, the need increased. Compare these numbers:
March 2019 – Nestlings provided 12,000 diapers to 36 agencies in West Michigan
March 2020 – Nestlings provided 43,000 diapers to those agencies
In April, they provided another 30,000 diapers, even though no one was able to volunteer on-site until July. Finally, in September, the numbers started to level off to what’s normal for Nestlings. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need volunteers: Nestlings is primarily a two-women operation that relies on community help. Our team pitched in for an afternoon.
View our slideshow to see how safe and easy it is to volunteer at Nestlings. Diaper wrapping stations are physically distant–for a maximum capacity of five people–complete with sanitizer and disinfected after each use. Masks are required, of course. Our team of four wrapped 2,500+ diapers during our volunteer slot one afternoon.
If you’re interested in volunteering, learn how you can help. Or consider hosting a diaper drive with an organization you belong to.
We had a pleasant, educational, and safe experience–and the reward of being able to help babies at a critical time of need.