Quality Self Storage, of North Fort Myers, Florida, started donating space to Destiny Diaper Bank this month, helping to make it possible for Destiny to expand its services to the North Fort Myers area. Quality Self Storage will also host a fundraiser for the diaper bank on April 24.
Destiny Diaper Bank is the only diaper bank in the state of Florida. It is a nonprofit organization, headquartered in Cape Coral, FL, that provides diapers and incontinence supplies to individuals and families who cannot afford to purchase their own. The diapers and supplies are used by babies, toddlers, special needs children, and the elderly. The diaper bank's founder, Rev. Rebecca Hines, who has lived in Cape Coral since 1978, says that the need for the diaper service is high right now, because there is so much unemployment in Lee County. She says that Destiny receives between 40 and 50 calls a day from people who need diapers. Some days, the diaper bank receives 60 calls.
"During the holidays we gave out about 35,000 diapers," Hines says. "We get the donations any way we can; we're not government funded or backed by any particular organization....We want to get the message out there that Medicaid and Medicare, food stamps and WIC do not provide diapers for our most fragile and vulnerable populations." Currently, Destiny is trying to supply diapers to about 12,000 families. For one family with special needs children, the cost of diapers can be about $400/month.
"I give them a free unit so they can have things dropped off or to pick up," explains Joe Gibbs, Quality Self Storage's manager. "It's very important; it just stops abuse. And there are so many elderly people that need diapers. I learned that from Rebecca."
Gibbs also arranged for Quality Self Storage to hold a fundraiser for Destiny Diaper Bank on April 24. "We going to have a Baby Diaper Derby, vendors and a Daddy Diaper Changing Derby," said Hines. "We're looking for top media daddies now to race against the clock to change diapers."
People in the North Fort Myers area who want to donate diapers can take them directly to Quality Self Storage, at 4150 Hancock Bridge Parkway. People who need diapers should phone the diaper bank directly. Hines notes that moms who make use of the diapers are also trying to give back to the community by bringing in their gently used clothes, strollers, toys, cribs, swings, and other items that their children no longer need -- so the diaper bank is matching up those items with needy families as well. To receive diapers, families must fill out paperwork showing that they are in need.
"They have to be on Medicaid, for children, a disabled adult or elderly or WIC (Women's Infant Children program)," explains Hines. "It's a program that subsidizes infants and toddlers with food. They have to show us their WIC card that they quality as a low-income family. They can get it from the WIC office in Fort Myers." Families must also show proof of a local address, and a photo I.D.