The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Wanted: Diapers and baby wipes to help shoreline families in need
Even before the Law Enforcement Diaper Drive started on Feb. 1, diapers and wipes were being delivered to the Clinton police department.
“I think a lot of people have just come to associate this time of the year with the diaper drive and us and it’s nice to have everybody else on the Shoreline joining in with us,” said Clinton Police Chief Vincent DeMaio.
This year is the sixth annual Bare Ne- cessities Law Enforcement Diaper Drive. New diapers and wipes will be collected at Shoreline police departments through Wednesday, Feb. 15.
Last year, 32,066 diapers and 24,573 wipes were collected. In addition, monetary donations totaled over $3,000.
Bare Necessities is a nonprofit that provides diapers and wipes to Shoreline communities through food pantries, social service agencies and other community service agencies.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is, if children don’t have diapers, then they can’t go to daycare,” said Pamela Cyrus, president of Bare Necessities.
“If they can’t go to daycare they lose out on that early learning and that early learning can really set them up for life,” she said. “It also impacts whether their parents can go to work.”
“The stress in the family of not having enough diapers — families go without food, they go without clothes and other essentials to be able to have diapers and that’s not healthy either to go without all of that,” she said.
Other Shoreline police departments participating include Madison, Guilford, Branford, North Branford, East Haven and CT State Police Troop F Westbrook.
Donations can be dropped off in the lobby of the individual police departments.
In Madison, an additional drop-off location is the Madison Coffee House, 724 Boston Post Road and in Old Saybrook at Mad Coffee Roasters CT, 744 Boston Post Road.
For those who prefer contactless donations, orders can be placed by visiting Amazon’s Bare Necessities Wish.
It is the community involvement that makes the diaper drive such a success, said DeMaio.
“It’s amazing and it’s heartwarming to all of us here to see how much people really care about their neighbors,” he said.
“Whenever we ask the community to help with us somebody in need, they answer resoundingly loudly, ‘Yes, we’re going to help,’” he said. “We just see a tremendous community spirit here.”
This year, Vista Discover Program members, young adults who have disabilities, are assisting with the collection at all of the police stations and the distribution to the agencies that distribute the diapers.
“They are just learning to work,” said Helen Bosch, chief executive officer at Vista Life Innovations.
“They are gaining work skills, they’re gaining what it’s like to show up on time at work, how to behave at work,” she said. “As a result of this, this work experience for them is really a teaching opportunity and it’s a way of them building skills so they can advance to then eventually getting their own job.”
DeMaio applauds the work of the Vista members.
Cyrus said working with the law enforcement agencies and Vista is “a win, win situation for everyone.”
Monetary donations can be sent directly to Bare Necessities, 24 W. Main St., Suite 414, Clinton or by visiting http://bitly.ws/om6E. Bare Necessities, Inc., 24 West Main Street – Suite 414, Clinton, 203928-7558; barenecessitiesct.org; Facebook Bare Necessities, Inc.