What is the name of your organization?
The Cotton Bottom Diaper Bank
What is your mission?
Our mission is to end diaper need in Palm Beach County by providing low income families with diapers, wipes, and potty training kits.
How and when did you get started?
Laura Olympio and I decided to found a free standing diaper bank back in 2019. Previously, we had chaired a local diaper program where we distributed over 2 million diapers and raised another 350,000. Although our organization is young, we have a lot of experience in diaper banking! When we looked at the poverty level in Palm Beach County and saw how the need for diapers continued to grow, we knew our region needed a free standing diaper bank that could fundraise independently, scale to meet the growing need, and follow diaper banking industry best practices such as bundling diapers to track how many children are served and to ensure equity.
We needed to find storage with a loading dock. Our first ask was to Safebound Moving and Storage, and we are grateful every single day that they said yes. We didn’t know then that they would become a strategic partner in helping us run our bank. They store, organize, inventory, help us bundle, accept deliveries, manage distributions, take us to Target in a truck for large diaper purchases, pick up donations, make deliveries, and advocate for our cause— all for free. Their partnership let us grow our bank very quickly and focus mainly on our next mission: stocking the bank.
We set a goal of raising 100,000 diapers by May 31, 2020. Through the help of our incredible board of directors, our first events, and the generosity of our community, we are proud to say that we hit the mark in the beginning of May!
We were off to a great start, but little did we know, these actions we took early on were laying the ground work for us to be an essential nonprofit to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who do you help?
We partner with other organizations to get diapers out to low-income families in the community. Diapers are not covered by WIC, Food Stamps, or any other government safety-net program. When a family has limited resources, they oftentimes have to choose between paying for rent, food, and transportation or paying for diapers. In the past two months, we have distributed just over 100,000 diapers to help 2,000 children.
During the COVID-19 crisis, we have really had to pick up the pace to keep up with the growing need from families out of work. Some of the agencies we partnered with are the City of West Palm Beach, the WPB Police Department, Clinics Can Help, AVDA, The Arc of Palm Beach County, and Families First to supply diapers and wipes to families. Thanks to the generosity of the Town of Palm Beach United Way, we were able to purchase additional diapers to keep up with demand.
A new program that we were able to start thanks to a new partnership with Chris Allen Realty is a potty training kit. Each kit contains a potty seat, a book, 25 pull-ups, and a sheet with some tips and tricks for potty training in English, Spanish, and Creole. One upside to being stuck at home: it’s the perfect time to potty train!
Are there volunteer opportunities? Any where children can be helpful/involved?
We have opportunities to volunteer wrapping diapers into bundles of 25. These typically happen in the evening, but they can be scheduled during the day if a group is interested in wrapping. Kids aged 10 and above are welcome to attend with a parent to help count and organize the diapers that are bundled. We meet at Rhythm & Hues to bundle, so it is a very kid friendly environment. We also always need help at our events.
Are there any specific items that people can donate?
We always need diapers and wipes! Currently, we are particularly in need of diaper sizes 5 and 6, but we gratefully accept any size diaper. We even accept open packages that kids have grown out of. During COVID-19, donations can be dropped off at my house: 510 Puritan Road, West Palm Beach. We also have an Amazon wishlist that ships directly to us:
What is your website?
What else do we need to know about you?
I love the being a wife to my husband, Joel, a mom to our three year old twins, Will and Caroline.
I believe that the more success and luck you have in life, the more you should give back.
In my “spare time”, I love to read, needlepoint canvases from Lycette, and bake with my kids— even when they disagree about who will measure the sugar and who will measure the flour. 🙂