Detroit Area Diaper Bank

13 Jan

I hate diapers!  They are expensive, smelly, and gross.  Apparently “safety net” programs such as WIC, Food Stamps, and Medicare hate diapers too, because these programs do not cover the cost of diapers. 

The cost for a healthy change of diapers can cost $100 or more per month.  Daycare centers require parents to leave disposable diapers with their child, so parents who can’t afford diapers can’t go to work or school, causing the vicious cycle of poverty to continue.  Nonprofits working with individuals and families in crisis list diapers as an ongoing and top need.

Marybeth Levine lived in Tucson, Arizona, when the Southern Arizona Community Diaper Bank, the nation’s first diaper bank, came into formal existence.  Levine was very affected by their work and became passionate about the diaper issue.   In 2003 she moved to Michigan and knew she wanted to start a diaper bank to serve the Detroit area.  In the spring of 2009, with the economy in the state it was, she knew she needed to get started.  The Detroit Area Diaper Bank was launched in April of 2009.

Their mission is to build a network to help meet the unmet need for diapers in their community’s most vulnerable populations – babies from low-income households, the elderly, and people with disabilities.  They are located in Canton, Michigan, but they serve all of Southeast Michigan (Metro Detroit).

According to Levine, “We strive to engage as many individuals and groups all over Southeast Michigan as possible to conduct diaper drives and/or fundraisers to support us and help us build a true Community Diaper Bank. We are always providing suggestions and ideas how an individual or group can help make sure we have resources on hand to help our neighbors in need.”

Since their founding, the Detroit Area Diaper bank has distributed over 320,000 diapers, pull ups, and incontinence supplies!  In fall of 2010, the organization held a diaper drive that exceeded their goal by collecting over 150,000 diapers! 

How can you help?

  • The organization accepts any size, any brand of diaper or pull-up, baby through adult.  Please check their website for drop off locations.
  • They also happily accept financial donations.  Levine states, “with our tax-exempt status, we can make a dollar stretch further and get more diapers per dollar [with financial donations].”   All donations are tax-deductible and all donated funds go directly toward purchasing diapers and incontinence supplies.
  • Individuals and community groups can also run diaper drives and fundraisers.  They even have resources available on their website to assist you with your diaper drive!
  • You can also make a purchase from their online store.  They have bumper stickers, shirts, and more available!

You can learn more about the Detroit Area Diaper Bank on their website:  You can also follow them on Twitter or on Facebook.

For those who aren’t in the Detroit Area, you can also find other diaper banks to support or learn how to start a diaper bank in your community at the Diaper Banks of America website.


Posted by on January 13, 2011 in Nonprofit Organization


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6 responses to “Detroit Area Diaper Bank

  1. Lynn Woes

    January 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    WIC doesn’t hate diapers but its a nutritional program not a clothing and diapering program. They offer nutritional education and help with nutritional needs. Also many of the families who are on WIC definitely CAN afford diapers. It would be a waste of tax dollars to give all WIC participants free diapers. You have to draw the line somewhere. I’m glad there are diaper banks for those who need them, but if the government ran that program you can probably count on it being more expensive to run than the private non-profits running it. Good for them for starting diaper banks but lets try and keep the government out of public assistance programs- it just makes the program more complicated and cost more to run because of the red tape.

    • blogunteer

      January 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      Lynn – My comment about these programs “hating” diapers was meant to be a cleaver introduction for the diaper bank story rather than any sort of commentary on what these programs do or don’t provide. I did want to point out that these programs do not provide diapers which is why diaper banks are a great help to those who do need to make tough choices about where their money is spent.

  2. Allison

    January 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Coming from a fellow philanthropy-lover and also a born and raised Detroit girl I’d like to thank you for this post. I am going to feature the Gifts in Kind diaper promo on my blog and will be sure to give the Detroit Area Diaper bank a shout-out, too! Looking forward to reading more of your posts! allison


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