Shoreline-area police departments come together to hold diaper drive

Police officials from Clinton, Guilford, madison and Branford are picturd with staff from Bare Necessities showing off the donations from 2019’s diaper drive.

Last year, several local police departments worked together to collect a whopping 25,000 diapers for families in need, according to Madison police Capt. Joseph Race.

This year, with six local departments and one state police troop participating, they’re trying to beat that number, Race said, adding that police also are collecting wipes.

Police in East Haven, Clinton, Guilford, North Branford, Branford and Madison, as well as Connecticut State Police Troop F, will be collecting donations Feb. 1-15, according to a flyer posted to the North Branford Police Department’s Facebook page. Those who wish to contribute can bring items to any of the participating police stations.

Diaper sizes four to six are most needed, the flyer said, adding that monetary and Amazon wishlist donations also are welcome.

The departments work in conjunction with Bare Necessities, a nonprofit diaper bank in Clinton that serves the Shoreline. While one in three babies have a need for diapers, food stamps cannot be used to purchase them, according to the organization’s website.

Tina Bascom, president of Bare Necessities, said she and her business partner founded the organization in 2015 after a woman approached them at a food pantry in Clinton and asked where she could find diapers for her 9-month-old. After doing some research, Bascom realized there were no diaper banks between Branford and New London.

Now, Bare Necessities provides diapers each month to 375 babies between Branford and Old Saybrook, according to Bascom, who said the organization uses different agencies across town to distribute the items.

“People don’t really know about diaper needs,” she said. Not only is the police department diaper drive the organization’s biggest fundraiser, but it also helps raise awareness about the issue along the Shoreline, Bascom said.

“It’s a need we weren’t even aware of until Bare Necessities brought it to our attention,” said Race, adding that families who cannot obtain diapers may have difficulty sending their children to daycare and, in turn, holding a job.

Race said he hopes the department’s efforts will help families in need.

The Madison Police Department has participated in the diaper drive for several years running, according to Race.

In Guilford, it’s the department’s third year helping with the drive, police Chief Jeffrey Hutchinson said.

“We’re happy to participate,” Hutchinson said. “It’s another opportunity for us to basically help the community.”

Hutchinson noted how expensive it is for families to buy diapers, wipes and baby formula.

“I don’t think people realize how taxing it is for parents,” he said, adding that the drive receives a great community response every year.

Two departments, East Haven and North Branford, are new to the team.

Chief Kevin Halloran, who, after years of serving as Branford’s top cop, became chief in North Branford last year, has been participating in the drive since its inception, according to Deputy Chief James Lovelace, who said Halloran brought the idea to his new department.

“It’s another way to help out the community,” Lovelace said.

For more information on the drive, call 203-928-7558. Open packages of diapers are accepted, according to Race.

Connecticut Media Group