The Food Pantry at FUMC has, since October 2007, distributed more than 1.6 million pounds of food and personal care items to needy families in Hamilton County, and a good friend of mine, Jenica Giffin, who works at the church, was struck that there were families asking for diapers to keep their babies clean and dry.
As a parent, I cannot imagine the feelings of depression and hopelessness that would overwhelm me at not being able to keep my baby healthy simply because I did not have the resources for clean diapers. By providing diapers to families who need them, the FUMC Food Pantry offers preventable care for babies and gives hope to their caregivers. But it takes resources to be able to provide for these families.
This fall, Jenica spearheaded the church’s second annual diaper drive and inspired the congregation of 600 to not only donate diapers to the Food Pantry, but also to outreach to friends and neighbors to let them know about the need for diapers here in our community.
Several friends and I have seasonal clothing swaps (a great way to extend the use of clothing!), and one happened to fall during the diaper drive. Most in the group are mothers of young children, and I shared with all of them before we met the information about the diaper drive. I was so pleased to see boxes and bags full of diapers waiting for me when I arrived at the clothes swap. It struck me how much empathy is all around me at all times.
When I delivered our donations the next day, were were short a few hundred of our goal of 12,500 diapers. However, by the end of the drive, the community had donated more than 13,500 diapers for families in need in Hamilton County! What a great example of the community coming together for good.
*Please note that you can always donate to the Food Pantry, regardless of the time of year! Collection boxes stand at each FUMC entrance year-round.