Members of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church identified a need and decided to help. They opened the Central Arkansas Diaper Bank in April 2019 and have now spent more than a year helping families in need.
“We’re local families supporting other local families,” says Allyson Gattin, a board member of the Diaper Bank and communications and public relations specialist with CARTI.
The Diaper Bank distributes donations on the first Wednesday of every month. Families must place orders ahead of time in order to guarantee that they receive the correct size and amount upon their arrival. Volunteers prepare all of the orders ahead of time so that the diapers can be immediately given to families.
The Diaper Bank has also adapted to the social distancing guidelines throughout the coronavirus pandemic. All diaper pick-ups are currently done curbside to avoid contact. Gattin also describes an increased need among families. As more people lost their jobs this year, more people struggled to provide necessities to their families. The Diaper Bank currently serves around 90 families every month.
“We’re happy to be a community resource,” says Gattin. “No one else is doing this in Central Arkansas. People can’t use WIC to buy diapers, and the food banks don’t carry diapers either.”
In September of this year, the Central Arkansas Diaper Bank partnered with KATV to hold its biggest drive yet. September is Diaper Awareness Month, so they held the Spirit of Arkansas Diaper Drive. Edwards Food Giant and Edwards Cash Saver sponsored the event, and every location of the grocery stores in central Arkansas had bins where customers could donate diapers. The drive was an enormous success, and the Bank received 25,000 diapers by the end of the month.
The bank gives more than diapers. Gatting says they have provided families in need with car seats. They even install the seats for the families to guarantee that it will work safely. The Central Arkansas Diaper Bank has received donations of clothes that they give to families as well.
The Central Arkansas Diaper Bank is constantly open to taking donations of diapers, including packages that have already been opened, and other items to provide to families in need. For more information about the Central Arkansas Diaper Bank, including details on how to donate, please visit their website and like them on Facebook.