On Saturday I had the distinct honor of handing our 500,000th diapers to the partner who received our very first diaper. In April 2011, my husband Jay and I loaded that first diaper, with 2,000 others, into the back of our car along with my 18-month-old son Jack and headed out to meet Gwen Pope at Shabach Ministries. This past Saturday we welcomed Gwen to our warehouse space brimming with volunteers and presented her with our half-millionth diaper.
When I think about how much has changed in that time my head spins a little. So many more diapers! Diaper drives, thousands of donors, more partner organizations, a new website, incredible new board members (stay tuned for more on them!), a move to a warehouse space, and a truly unstoppable network of ambassadors and volunteers who are spreading this work far beyond what we could ever do alone.
But despite all those changes in the last three years, so much has remained the same. All of us at DC Diaper Bank still do this work every day for the same reason – to help families thrive, and to be sure that Gwen and all our partners are able to reach our most vulnerable community members.
On Saturday we also welcomed Bright Beginnings and the District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) for their first pick-up of diapers. Bright Beginnings is a daycare for homeless babies and children and serves 25% of DC’s under five homeless population. DASH provides relief to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, through emergency and long-term safe housing and innovative homelessness prevention services. We are so pleased to be working with them both!
It was a beautiful day – two dozen volunteers of all ages bundled diapers, packed vehicles, wrapped recycling, ate birthday cake, and celebrated! Among those volunteers was a mom who came with her three kids and stayed the whole day. She was one-woman diaper machine. We found out a little into her time volunteering with us that she was also recipient of our diapers for her young son. It truly was a day of things coming full circle.
Let’s see what we can do in year 4!!