July 24, 2019
From Waupaca, to Green Bay-De Pere, to the Lakeshore and the Fox Cities, the Great Cover Up Diaper Drive struck a chord with Community First member-owners along with others who took notice and chipped in.
Our 25 full-service branches throughout the region served as collection sites for product and cash donations that help fill a definite need, primarily among low-income families.
“You should know that your impact goes much deeper than the diapers and donations collected at Community First Credit Union,” said Stephanie Bowers, co-founder and executive director of Jake’s Diapers. “We've had a number of people call because they saw the Community First signs or heard the radio ads. Instead of bringing diapers to you, they've chosen to bring them directly to us, including a large anonymous donation!”
Increased awareness of what Jake’s Diapers is all about has been another huge benefit. “We've had an increase in volunteer requests and questions about our organization,” Stephanie said.“Our volunteers have all noticed the Community First marquees and/or radio ads, and our community partner agencies have as well! It is truly fabulous what you are doing to help babies – and beyond babies – stay clean, dry, and healthy!”
Each month, Jake’s Diapers helps about 1,000 kids in Eastern Wisconsin and since its inception has helped over 15,000 children in 20 countries.
Overall, more than 100,000 diapers were collected during the drive, including nearly 14,500 from Community First, the largest single donor. Plus, donations to Community First branches totaled just over $567, including $235 from a home office bake sale and $50 from a group called the Sunshine Librarians thanks to the Waupaca branch marquee message.
The Sunshine Librarians are a group of Waupaca Area Public Library employees who independently created a fund to specifically help out local charitable organizations. Similarly, Wheels of Hope, a motorcycle group with a passion for helping people in need, delivered six cases of diapers and a case of wipes to the Industrial branch in Neenah.
Bowers started Jake’s Diapers in 2013 following a mission trip where she saw women in an impoverished area reusing disposable diapers because they lacked access to new diapers. It was a profound “life moment” for her and when she got home she organized a diaper drive among her friends. It was so successful, she decided to continue and named it Jake’s Diapers after her first son, who is now 6. Jake’s Diapers also collaborates with the Fox Cities Diaper Bank to ensure coverage throughout Northeast Wisconsin.
“We provide diapers and adult items to babies, children and adults in need right here in Eastern Wisconsin,” Bowers said. “Our two main focus areas are Green Bay and Oshkosh, and we do serve families out in Wautoma and Waushara as well. These will all stay local and really help a lot of people stay clean, dry and healthy.”
On June 27, about 20 Community First employees – organized by our United Way Emerging Leader co-chairs – volunteered to pack diapers at the Little Chute warehouse that houses Jake’s Diapers.
The Community First bake sale was the idea of Dresang Way Receptionist-Concierge Barb Hale, who has also been sharing her seamstress skills with Jakes Diapers for several months.
“I saw an ad in the volunteer section of the Post-Crescent wanting help sewing, so I have been helping them – making diapers, adult diapers and sanitary pads for other countries,” said Hale. Over the last six months, she figures she has sewn several hundred diapers, primarily removing snaps and sewing pads in existing diapers.