My name is Mandy Walker and I am the Event Coordinator for Nestlings Diaper Bank. Three years ago, a few local women noticed a need in our community that today has significant impacts on our children, families, friends, and youth growing up to adults; That is the need for diapers.
When I started volunteering for Nestlings less than a year ago I had no idea that there was such a need for the necessity. This really pulls at my heart-strings because I have a 15 month old. If you could take a moment to imagine what it is like to have one or more than one baby, and not only struggle with life’s commodities, gas, jobs, food, health, rent, but on top of it, to look at your little blessing knowing that you are trying to be the best parent you can be and cannot provide one of the essential tools for their well being….diapers! Nestlings Diaper Bank was founded to help those families who struggle with such needs, a need not supported by government assistance, a need precious to a child’s upbringing, a need that even prevents child abuse!
What started as a home based operation it’s hard to imagine Nestlings has been around for only 3 years. Nestlings services families throughout Ottawa County donating thousands of diapers per year to its recipient agencies. Nestlings is a completely volunteer run, non-profit organization, whose recent popularity was the fuel for this years Diaper Days. This past winter Nestlings received their largest diaper donation given by Huggies and Meijer in the amount of 50,000 diapers. Piggy backing that amazing gift was a grant given by Women Who Care. Nestlings was also named one of eight finalist nominated this spring by WOODTV8 for their Connecting with Community Award!
It has been an uplifting past 3 years celebrating Nestlings Diaper Days and our 100,000th diaper donation! The Ottawa County Health Department received the 100,000th Diaper Recipient award.
The 2014 Diaper Days was a fun 4-day activity driven mini festival designed to increase Nestlings popularity in our local community. Although widely known for needing diaper donations, Nestlings wanted to say Thank-You to the community by providing an enjoyable bounty of family and baby themed activities throughout the city of Holland. The week kicked off with a Diaper Display Competition and Diaper Donation Drop off locations. Tip Toes Downtown opened their doors and accepted diaper donations, while EcoBuns and WIC battled for 1st place with their Creative Diaper Displays. The rules were to use mostly diapers whether cloth or disposable, to create a Nestlings themed diaper display, WIC of Holland was awarded first place for Nestlings Diaper Display Competition with an Tree of Owl made of diapers.
On Wednesday, Felicia Holland Photography donated her entire day offering free baby photos at EcoBuns. Then Thursday, Nestlings hosted their first Diaper Derby where the little ones scooted, rolled and crawled their way to the finish line. Friday, Nestlings celebrated with a monthly Diaper Wrap Party and on Saturday, hosted its grand finale with a Community Baby Shower.
Nestlings wanted to do something a little different with its Community Baby Shower and asked partner agencies to participate in a private competition where diaper recipients told their stories of how Nestling’s helps them. It was a random draw, anonymous competition where the privacy of the author and story stayed confidential, and the prizes were family focused donations given by local businesses.
First prize was composed of several gifts including a big Wagon full of fun from an outdoor pool to a one-night stay at Country Inn, Family Photo package, Car Maintenance, Dinner and more. Second prize was a beautiful stroller filled with outings to Dutch Village, membership to Girlfriends Fitness, Car Maintenance and more. Finally third prize was a wonderful gift package from Boers Head, Music Sessions, Fudge and more.
We are grateful for such a giving community that helped Nestlings to create such wonderful prize packages. Nestlings is also very grateful to our sponsors, for without which Diaper Days would not have happened. Nestlings wants to say a special Thank-You to our Gold Diaper Sponsors: Both Meijer Stores for donating and Nestlings Silver Diaper Sponsor Boers Head for donating.
Nestlings would also like to say Thank-You to Macatawa Bank for providing the wonderful venue, Sweet Times Cakery, for tasty desserts, Beachwood Catering, Boers Head and Deboers Bakery for the food.
Another big Thank-You goes to Tip Toes, EcoBuns, Felicia Holland Photography, and Girlfriends Fitness Club for all of their help throughout the week. Finally, without Nestlings fantastic volunteers, prize sponsors, partner agencies and the community such an event would not have been possible so Thank-You all too.
Lastly, let’s not forget the babies, the next time you are at the grocery store, would you please consider grabbing a package of diapers for those in need? Or maybe make or send in a donation. If you would like to get involved with helping Nestlings at a monthly diaper wrap, as a no cost gesture. Whatever you feel your calling may be, we at Nestlings Diaper Bank are working toward happy and healthy families, diapering babies in need and welcome your support.
Thank you and Nestlings is looking forward to 2015 Diaper Days next year and hope to see you there!