Bundles of Hope Bring Diapers to Area Families in Need
Published: September 30, 2015
By: Carol Evans
It’s amazing how many diapers an infant or even a toddler can go through weekly, much less daily. But what if you had to decide between buying diapers and paying for the necessities of life, such as electricity, gas to get you to work, or food to feed your family?
Some area families face that dilemma on a weekly basis. And diapers are an expensive necessity with a baby that is not covered by any government program such as SNAP or WIC. In Birmingham, there are more than 14,500 children under the age of five, and 20 percent of the community lives below the poverty line at $24,250 or less for a family of four. This is why Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank was born, according to board member and Vice President Lindsay Gray.
In 2014, a group of women at Mountain Chapel United Methodist Church were planning a baby shower for a single mom, and they started discussing the high cost of diapers, Gray recalls. One of the women mentioned she had a friend from college who started a diaper bank in the Washington, D.C. area. Barrett Ford, who Gray says had a heart for missions, was asked if she would be interested in assessing the need for diapers in Birmingham. She contacted area food banks, churches and the United Way’s 2-1-1 Assistance Referral Line in Alabama, confirming that area families indeed were struggling to supply adequate diapers for their children.
Today, Ford serves as the executive director and founder of Bundles of Hope, who shortly thereafter had their first diaper drive at Mountain Chapel UMC, collecting 2,300 diapers and giving all of them away at their first distribution at Green Valley Baptist Church, a Community Food Bank center.
Now in its second year of operation, Bundles of Hope is a 501c3 non-profit organization and is connected with the National Diaper Bank Network of Connecticut, one of 200-plus diaper banks listed on its website, Gray says. Gray, who is also a labor and delivery nurse at St. Vincent’s Health System, says Bundles of Hope is near and dear to her heart because she does see firsthand the need for this service from her work at the hospital. She is trying to get the word out about the need for diapers, donations to the organization, as well as to those who might be in need that diaper assistance is available. “It’s more than just diapers,” Gray says. “It’s about lifting spirits.”
Bundles of Hope identifies those in need through area food banks, Gray explains. “We are also finding the need for larger diapers for older babies through the food banks,” she adds. Bundles of Hope is trying to connect to those in need through Medicaid patients and Her Choice, an unplanned pregnancy center.
The next big push for donations is going on now – through October 4, Diaper Need Awareness Week, proclaimed by Gov. Robert Bentley, Gray says. The goal is to collect 100,000 diapers. Donations of diapers or money are tax deductible. However, diapers and donations are always needed and welcome. If you’d like to help with a diaper drive to help stock the shelves of Bundles of Hope, the organization recommends holding a drive for at least one week. Visit the organization’s website for more information about how to work with them, and call 205-607-2112 with any questions.
For more information about receiving diapers, volunteering or donating, visit www.bundlesdiaperbank.org. For more information about the national diaper network, visit nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org. Birmingham Parent is a proud sponsor of Bundles of Hope.
Bundles of Hope is currently distributing diapers at the following locations on the following days:
- Green Valley Baptist Church Food Bank – 3rd Tuesday of each month from 8am-12pm (Jan-Nov and by appointment in Dec)
- Bluff Park UMC Food Pantry –1st Wednesday of each month from 9am-3pm
- First Baptist Church of Alabaster – 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 12pm-3pm/ call for appointment 205-222-6809.
- 23rd Street Baptist Church Food Pantry and Clothes Closet – quarterly basis
- Woodlawn Co-op
- Her Choice Birmingham Women’s Center (for their current clients)
- Through the website, www.bundlesdiaperbank.org