SWEETWATER COUNTY – With families across Wyoming continuing to feel the economic crunch, groups are striving to fill their needs. RSNB is asking for your help as they work to make a major impact involving one of these community needs.
Since 2013, the United Way of Southwest Wyoming and local businesses have been working hand-in-hand to make sure the youngest of residents are covered. The group started the first diaper bank in Wyoming.
RSNB took up this challenge in October and began its quest to raise 10,000 diapers for the bank. On Friday, the diapers will be picked up and delivered, but they are still a little shy of the mark.
As of Tuesday, RSNB Public Relations Manager Avis Dunkin-Mazur said they have approximately 8,600 diapers, with only a few days to go before they are picked up and delivered. Dunkin-Mazur explained that Questar will be by on Friday to pick up all the donations and take them to United Way.
Dunkin-Mazur said the outpouring of support and giving by the community has been tremendous to see during this month as many individuals and businesses have donated to the cause. One elderly resident really stood out to her.
At the dollar store they sell small sleeves of diapers. Dunkin-Mazur said one elderly lady, without much to give, brought in three sleeves of these diapers to donate to the cause. Dunkin-Mazur was touched, explaining the elderly woman is on a fixed income and did not have much to spare herself but did what she could to help.
While they are asking for the public’s help to hit the 10k mark by Friday, RSNB will also be donating other items as well. The have wipes, 11 blankets and 12 pairs of little booties which will also be donated to help in this time of need.
If you would like to help RSNB hit its goal, you can drop off donations at both RSNB locations until Friday.
The United Way of Southwest Wyoming started the diaper drives in 2013 after noticing a need in the community. This was, and still is, the only diaper bank of its kind in Wyoming.
While the national drive focuses on the months of September and October, the drives can be done at anytime throughout the year by any group. United Way’s Shelley Richno said if a group is interested in doing a drive all they need to do is contact the United Way of Southwest Wyoming and they will help get it started.
Diapers collected continue to go up each year since the inception of the program. Richno said just in September and October of this year, they have collected and donated over 11,000 diapers to the local food banks in Rock Springs and Green River. Close to 4,000 wipes were also collected during this time.
With the recent layoffs, and as people learn about the program, the need has also grown. Richno said the program has gone from giving out a few hundred a month to giving out over 4,000 diapers in the month of September alone this year.
Once a business finishes a drive, the diapers are then taken to the United Way. Richno said with the help of the inmates at the Sweetwater County Jail, the diapers are then stored at the United Way office. From there, they are taken to the local food banks where residents who have a need can take advantage of the program.
This year, local governments got behind the drive as they recognized the national diaper drive with a proclamation. Sweetwater County is the first county in Wyoming to do this.
Richno said residents who want to take advantage of the program will be asked to fill out a small information form the first time they participate. The form is how the United Way will keep track of the numbers.
Residents interested in donating can either donate to local drives, drop off diapers and wipes at the United Way office or drop items off at the local food banks.
You can read more about the diaper drive and the recent proclamations in previous SweetwaterNOW posts.