MADISON — St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church community project for advent, collecting diapers for children in need, far exceeded its goal.
“We’ve done food drives before, but I thought the diaper drive was something different and something very understandable and accessible,” said Louise Beecher, a member of the Vestry at St. Andrews.
The “Race to the Bottom” project netted 6,301 diapers and 664 baby wipes for Clinton-based Bare Necessities.
The not-for-profit organization, Bare Necessities, provides diapers and wipes to local shoreline communities through food pantries, social service agencies and other community service organizations.
Beecher said the timing was just right for this project when church activities were restricted by COVID.
“Under the rules, there are no in church services or other activities right now in the sanctuary, so this lent itself to it,” she said. “Anyone who was donating could drop off the box on the front steps of the sanctuary which is covered by an awning.”
For Bare Necessities, this was a much-needed donation. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the families receiving diapers has doubled.
“We have almost 700 families that have received diapers, at least once, during 2020,” said Tina Bascom, vice president and founding member of Bare Necessities, Inc.
The most sought-after sizes are 4 to 6, she added, which is what the St. Andrew’s drive collected.
“It is always overwhelming when we receive such a generous number of diapers, especially from a new community partner,” said Bascom. “I always say that a diaper drive is considered successful by the number of people that know about diaper need.”
Bascom said that since November 2020, the organization has distributed over 287,000 diapers on the shoreline. They have been unable to distribute baby wipes since July due to not being able to get the quantity they need at a price they could afford.
Beecher said the church was excited about this community project.
“What we did just for the fun, and we’d like to expand the project if we did it next year, was that we tried to organize them into a pyramid, sort of a Christmas tree shape,” said Beecher. “Those were in front of the (church) windows.”
Looking back on the diaper drive, Beecher said everyone involved was positive about the number of diapers collected for those in the community who were in need.
“We feel terrific,” Beecher said. “If I was struggling, I wouldn’t know where to turn. I could figure out pretty quickly where to go for help for food or even to get toys for my children, but this kind of basic need, I think, is overlooked.”
Bare Necessities, 24 W. Main St., Suite 414, Clinton, 203-928-7558; barenecessitiesct.org; Facebook Bare Necessities, Inc.