WestSide Baby surpasses goal, collects 300,000 diapers through ‘Stuff the Bus’
Local non-profit WestSide Baby collected more than 300,000 diapers at its 14th annual ‘Stuff the Bus’ diaper drive last Sunday (July 20) – including a station at Burien Toyota/Scion – marking the organization’s largest and most successful outreach effort since opening its doors in 2001.
In addition, WestSide Baby received hundreds of donations of essential hygiene items, such as diaper cream and wipes. The agency hoped to collect 290,000 diapers for children and families in need in King County through Stuff the Bus.
WestSide Baby collected donations in school buses at HomeStreet Bank in West Seattle, Burien Toyota and Scion, and AmericanWest Bank in Ballard.
More than 70 individuals and businesses collected diapers to contribute to the effort, including two-dozen Safeway stores, eight HomeStreet Bank branches and five AmericanWest Bank branches across King County. Safeway staffed its stores with its own volunteers and discounted its diapers for the weekend.
Safeway stores alone collected 127,000 donated diapers, and the Safeway Foundation provided WestSide Baby with a $1,000 grant to support its diaper bank program.
“We are so grateful to all of our amazing donors and drivers who helped us beat our goal and provide for those in need in our communities,” WestSide Baby Executive Director Nancy Woodland said. “It’s a testament to the spirit of giving in King County. This was our first year expanding Stuff the Bus to Ballard, and the community response was positively inspiring. We also owe a lot of credit to Safeway, as their efforts were nothing short of tremendous. We are very appreciative of their partnership, and we hope to continue working together on Stuff the Bus for years to come.”
Woodland said the grand total of diapers collected will continue growing as WestSide Baby tallies the final donations from its individual drivers. WestSide Baby also factors in financial contributions into its diaper count, as it will use funds collected through Stuff the Bus to purchase additional diapers for the children and families it serves.
For the first time, several individual Stuff the Bus drivers were located in eastern King County, and many diapers collected on the east side will be distributed through Issaquah’s Eastside Baby Corner. WestSide Baby and Eastside Baby Corner work together to distribute diapers through a collaboration known as Side By Side Northwest.
There are more than 10,000 children under the age of 3 living in poverty in King County, according to county reports. These children will need at least 22 million diapers per year. Unfortunately, many families are forced to choose between buying diapers and paying bills, as diapers are not covered by any government aid programs, including food stamps and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) programs. Babies who sit in dirty diapers are more likely to suffer infection, illness and abuse. Diapers are a basic need, just like food.
Stuff the Bus 2014 comes in the wake of a merging of WestSide Baby and St. Joseph’s Baby Corner’s operations, as the respective boards of directors voted to merge the organizations, effective July 11. WestSide Baby will continue to operate from its headquarters in White Center, and St. Joseph’s Baby Corner’s facility in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood will remain open under the leadership of WestSide Baby. The resulting Board of Directors includes members of WestSide Baby and St. Joseph’s Baby Corner’s boards of directors.
Learn more about Stuff the Bus at http://www.westsidebaby.org/news-and-events/stuff-bus-diaper-drive-2014.
About WestSide Baby:
WestSide Baby, in partnership with our community, provides essential items to local children in need by collecting and distributing diapers, clothing and equipment. In 2013, WestSide Baby distributed more than $1.86 million in goods to children up to size 12, serving more than 24,000 local children. By partnering with more than 90 established social service agencies, we are able to focus simply on the items children need to thrive while trained professionals can address other issues to give families a hand in a time of need.