Changing Diapers, Changing Lives

The Holland Junior Welfare League Does It Again!

After nine decades, Holland Junior Welfare League just keeps giving


Cassandra Lybrink
The Holland Sentinel

Published 6:01 a.m. ET April 15, 2022

HOLLAND — When Nestlings Diaper Bank began its fundraiser for a truck of diapers in January, the organization didn’t expect the price tag to jump $18,000 higher.

Hopes for the truck — which would’ve covered between two-thirds and three-quarters of the community’s diaper need for 2022 — were dashed.

More: Nestlings Diaper Bank hopes to raise 40K in January for truck of diapers

More: Cassandra Lybrink: It shouldn’t be this hard to start a family

But Holland Junior Welfare League was just getting started.

For nine decades, HJWL has raised money and performed service projects for children in the greater Holland area. The local nonprofit is managed by women, all of whom volunteer their time. The organization hosts two fundraisers per year — and last year, it broke records.

“We have so much to give this year,” said HJWL Vice President Lindsey Rautiola. “Our fundraisers are entirely underwritten, which means our businesses and some of our members and alumni members donate funds and prizes for raffles. That means everything we make goes straight back into the community. It’s such a beautiful, wonderful thing.”

In 2021, HJWL raised $90,000.

“It was the largest amount we’ve ever raised,” Rautiola said. “We raised $60,000 in December alone. We really wanted to do something big to honor the ladies who’ve come before us and the goal of HJWL. So, we carved out an extra $10,000 and had our members nominate organizations to receive it.”

At the same time, HJWL was sifting through applications from nonprofits seeking grant money to fund programs for children. In total, the nonprofit received 37 applications and — after investigating each proposal — fully or partially funded 32 of them.

For the first time in the organization’s history, HJWL organized a series of check presentations for each grant. The presentations splattered the social media pages of organizations like Outdoor Discovery Center and Holland Aquatic Center, which received $4,500 and $3,000, respectively.

“It was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done,” Rautiola said. “It was super rewarding and so well received.”

A check presentation was also organized for Nestlings, which received $4,000. But during HJWL’s bi­annual fundraiser Thursday, April 14, the diaper bank was surprised with the additional $10,000.

“The first-ever grant Nestlings received was from HJWL,” Rautiola said. “It was for a printer they still have today. We’ve given to them for the past decade. The need for diapers, it shouldn’t exist. It blows my mind.”

The additional $10,000 will purchase 15 skids of diapers for Nestlings, Rautiola said. To learn more or donate to HJWL, visit

— Contact reporter Cassandra Lybrink at Follow her on Instagram @BizHolland.

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Gold Coast Doulas Holds Fourth Annual Charity Diaper Drive

Gold Coast Doulas is holding their fourth annual diaper drive benefitting Nestlings Diaper Bank and First Steps of Kent County. Their goal is to collect 40,000 diapers to support families in need in Kent and Ottawa and Allegan counties.

Diaper donations will be from Sept. 1 to October 1 at the following partnered drop-off locations: Smedley Dental and the Howard Miller Library in Zeeland; Untangled Salon, Great Legs Winery Brewery Distillery, Brann’s Steakhouse & Grill, Harbor Health and Massage, EcoBuns Baby + Co, Harbor Health and Massage and The Insurance Group in Holland; Hudsonville Congregational United Church of Christ in Hudsonville, ABC Pediatrics locations in Walker and Wyoming, Hulst Jepsen Physical Therapy in East Grand Rapids, Ada Christian Reformed Church in partnership with FIT4MOM Grand Rapids, Rise Wellness Chiropractic PLC, Gold Coast Doulas, Mindful Counseling (both locations), Grand Rapids Natural Health, Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan, Crossfit616 in partnership with BIRTHFIT Grand Rapids, MomHIVE, West End, and Hopscotch Children’s Store in Grand Rapids.

Visit for more information.
The Gold Coast diaper drive coincides with National Diaper Need Awareness week, Sept. 23– Sept. 29, Diaper Need Awareness Week is an initiative of the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), created make a difference in the lives of the nearly 5.2 million babies in the U.S. aged three or younger who live in poor or low-income families. Diapers are a basic health necessity for babies and are not provided by government assistance programs, but are one of the top un-met needs to low income families.
Diaper sizes 4, 5 and 6 are the most needed sizes. Nestlings also accepts baby wipes, used and new cloth diapers and open packages of diapers in addition to new boxes and bags of disposable diapers. Donations can also be made online at:

About Gold Coast Doulas: Gold Coast Doulas is the area’s first doula agency offering birth doula support, overnight and daytime postpartum doula support, lactation consultations, childbirth classes and more. They serve Greater Grand Rapids and the lakeshore communities.

About Nestlings Diaper Bank: Nestlings has distributed over 600,000 diapers and helped over 18,000 families since 2011. Nestlings also works with 31 partner agencies to distribute the diapers to the families in need.

About First Steps Kent: First Steps is an independent influential and neutral entity that leads the community’s efforts to strengthen and coordinate early childhood services in Kent County.

Thank You OMT-Veyhl

Company pride is well deserved, at OMT-Veyhl in Holland.  The company recently held a Diaper Drive for Nestlings Diaper Bank and gave back in a big way.

OMT-Veyhl employees heard about the plight of the 1 in 3 families that struggle with diaper need whom Nestlings supports with free diaper distribution.  The whole company got behind the diaper drive and included a pizza party for all the employees if they reached their goal of 15,000 diapers.

Over 15,000 diapers were collected from two teams within the company.  The Men vs Women companywide competition was held for a few weeks and OMT-Veyhl broke the most diapers collected record that was previously held by another local company.  The company focused on collecting diapers in the most needed sizes of 4, 5 and 6.  The Men’s Team collected the most diapers to win the fun competition and received a trophy awarded by Nestlings, at the annual OMT-Veyhl Company Picnic in August.

Nestlings is very appreciative of everyone at OMT-Veyhl and their willingness to support the babies in need in our community.  Nestlings will distribute over 100,000 free diapers this year to families who lack a sufficient supply. Babies are our future and deserve clean, dry diapers, no matter what circumstances they were born into.

For more information visit,

Thank You Holland Junior Welfare League

Thank you to the Holland Junior Welfare League for gifting Nestlings and the babies in need with over 1,000 packages of baby wipes.  Nestlings really appreciates the continued support from the Holland Junior Welfare League for the babies.

Not all diaper banks provide baby wipes to the low income families but Nestlings feels that the baby wipe is an important part of keeping a baby clean and healthy.  Babies don’t get fully clean if they do not get wiped and this is the reason Nestlings feels the wipe is as important as the diaper itself.

When you have to make tough choices between paying rent, buying diapers and all the other expenses that come between weekly paychecks, baby wipes are an item that can get left off the list of basic needs.

For many families this small package of wipes makes a big difference in their budget, but for the baby it makes an even bigger difference in its health and cleanliness.  The Holland Junior Welfare League understands how important these simple packages of baby wipes are for the children and their health.  Not only is the HJWL gifting Nestlings with these baby wipes, many local innocent babies will benefit from this generous gift that gives them an opportunity to have a happy, healthy, positive learning and developmental environment.

Thank you so very much for looking out for our communities children and helping them to have beneficial opportunities now and in their futures.

Thanks Huggies, Meijer and The National Diaper Bank Network

Nestlings Diaper Bank wants to Thank Huggies, Meijer and The National Diaper Bank Network for the donation of 50,000 diapers. These companies are really committed to helping keeps babies happy, healthy and dry. Thank you so much for your continued support.

Thank You Holland Junior Welfare League

HJWL Train PantsThank You Holland Junior Welfare League!

For the Grant Gift that allowed Nestlings to purchase 5,796 Training Pants in the most needed size of 4T-5T for the children of low income families.

Training Pants play an important role in potty training.  They help teach the ability to pull pants up and down. Learning to use the toilet and potty training is a milestone in a child’s development and consistency is a very important part of the learning and training process.  Switching from training pants to diapers confuses children and they have trouble staying on track.

Potty training shouldn’t be stressful for children and thanks to the Holland Junior Welfare League’s grant gift over 400 children will have Training Pants available that will allow for a healthy transition during an important step in their growth and development.

Nestlings  appreciates all the work and support of the Holland Junior Welfare League.  Thank You so much for all you continually do to benefit the children of our community


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