WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Headlines warning of a possible worldwide diaper shortage could be found splattered across the Internet last week after news broke of a Japanese plant explosion where a key diaper component is manufactured.
The talk of that shortage has died down, but for the women who run a local diaper bank there's hope that the news can alert donors in this part of the world.
"It helps them think, 'Oh my goodness, what if there is a diaper shortage? What would we do? Our kids go through so many diapers a day,'" Piedmont Diaper Bank co-founder Valerie Glass said. "It's necessary for their health, for their well-being -- and we would feel so helpless if we weren't able to provide those diapers for our kids. And I think that helps families who can afford diapers maybe realize what it's like, because this is actually a daily reality for a third of Americans."
The Piedmont Diaper Bank, located in Winston-Salem, is the first of its kind in North Carolina. It's a place where diaper donations can be packed and distributed among local agencies that have a direct connection to local families in need.
The idea was born more than two years ago out of a visit Glass' friend made to the Surry County Health Department.
"As a part of her job she went on a home visit to visit a family and there was a child running around who didn't have a diaper on and I think they just had something on him... Just kind of roughly attached an old T-shirt to the baby," Glass said. "And WIC doesn't cover it. Food stamps don't cover it and there aren't any other resources for diapers."
The diaper bank initially served Forsyth, Yadkin and Surry counties, but is expanding into neighboring counties including Guilford.
The greatest need is coming from families who are also categorized as "food insecure." Size 4 and 5 diapers are in the greatest demand because babies stay in those sizes the longest.
During the month of October, the following churches will be home to diaper collection boxes in our area:
Sedgefield Presbyterian Church
4216 Wayne Road
Highland Presbyterian Church
2380 Cloverdale Ave.
Sunrise United Methodist Church
1111 Lewisville-Clemmons Road
Hillsdale United Methodist Church
5018 U.S. Highway 158
For volunteer opportunities, as well as the latest diaper bank drives, visit piedmontdiaperbank.org.