Collecting and storing disposable diapers to distribute to low-income families takes a lot of work, but the Diaper Bank of North Carolina has found a way to make the process very successful. Although they've only been open for a year and had an initial goal of distributing 50,000 diapers, they've more than doubled that in 11 months with 139,000 diapers handed out to those who need them. This success story, however, has experienced a baffling setback.
When founder and executive director Michelle Old went into the diaper bank to ready an order for a homeless shelter, she was dismayed to find that they had been burglarized and ransacked — and 13,000 diapers were missing. Diapers of all sizes were taken, but Old says that the bigger sizes are the most painful to see missing. Kids usually stay in the bigger sizes longer and it's hard for them to keep them on hand.
Even worse, she reports that the diapers were stolen from a reserve room that is only known to those who work in the organization. Those in her area have told her that they have noticed the diapers popping up at local diaper sales or being offered on the street for sale, with a going price of $4 per package. Those selling the stolen diapers haven't even bothered to remove the Diaper Bank's identifying stickers from the packages.
The Diaper Bank of North Carolina is not letting this enormous theft bring them down. Old plans to continue the work and keep getting diapers in the hands of those who need them the most, and a look at their Facebook page shows that community support is already flowing in, with one local business already donating 6,000 diapers to help them make up for the shortage.
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