Changing Diapers, Changing Lives

Nestlings Diaper Bank first ever Diaper Days and Community Baby Shower 2014

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.027

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!

Nestlings on Wood TV 8 News

Nestlings was on Wood TV 8 News.  Here is a link to the story.

http://woodtv.com/2014/04/07/nestlings-connecting-with-community-awards-finalist/

Nestlings 3nd Birthday Gifts and Thanks Galore…

Diaper DonateNestlings 3nd Birthday Gifts and Thanks Galore…

Nestlings celebrated its 3rd Birthday on February 9th. Three years ago a conversation started this idea and the ball rolling toward founding Nestlings.  It is truly amazing to think of all that has happened in just these past few years. What is more amazing is the gifts Nestlings has received since our birthday.

Nestlings thought our biggest news to celebrate in this 3rd year was the fact that 100,000 diapers had been given away since we started distribution in 2011.  That 100,000th diaper was distributed to the Ottawa County Health Department in the fall of 2013. Their staff of visiting nurses hand out Nestlings diapers free through their Maternal Infant Health Program to babies up to 1 ½ years old.  Nestlings goal for 2014 is to distribute 75,000 diapers or more into the low income community.

Then shortly after the February 9 celebration Nestlings received an email from our partners at the National Diaper Bank Network asking if Nestlings would be interested in a 50,000 Diaper Donation from a partnership between the National Diaper Bank Network, Huggies and Meijer.  What a huge unexpected surprise this was.  But such good news because Nestlings knew this would help to reach more babies with clean diapers. This donation actually allowed two more agencies to be added as Nestlings partners and served with diapers.

Less than one week later Nestlings found out that it was the recipient of the Women Who Care 1st quarter monetary gift.  This gift allows Nestlings to be more effective and to start building a permanent sustainable organization with a long term future and ability to help thousands of families with babies and children thanks to support provided by the community.

The next weeks surprise was that Nestlings is one of eight finalist in the Wood TV 8 Connection with Community Award.  Nestlings was given the opportunity to have a video story about its work within our community aired on the 5:00 o’clock news.  What a huge honor the nomination is to Nestlings along with the ability to tell others about diaper need is wonderful for all babies in our community and all of West Michigan.  With the ability for the story to reach into other communities may make more people aware of what an issue diaper need is and how many people do not realize this.

Nestlings could not be more thankful to all of the organizations and support of our mission to help diaper the needy babies and children.  The opportunity to give them clean diapers seems so simple but it truly changes lives, helps to promote positive growth, development, learning and nurturing environments.

Thank you so much for understanding that the children are the innocents whom need a voice to help them get and keep that diaper changed.  You are the key to that change.

Stand Up Baby Comedy Fundraiser

stand-up-baby‘Stand Up Baby!’ is a comedy fundraiser for Nestlings Diaper Bank. Please help keep West Michigan babies dry and healthy by supporting Nestlings mission to provide diapers and wipes to families in need.

alex-ritzema-logo‘Stand Up Baby!’ is produced and directed by Alex Ritzema and will be a night of stand-up comedy featuring headliner Ken Sevara.

Ken’s impressive background includes appearing on national television shows including the Fox Network, Comedy Central and ESPN. In addition to hosting his own radio and television talk shows, Ken has also been heard on the ‘Bob and Tom Show’ and has shared the stage with comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Murray, George Carlin, and Jay Leno.

DETAILS:

Two Shows! Saturday – April 26, 2014 [wpgmza id=”1″]

First Show: 7:30pm
Second Show 10:00pm

Macatawa Bank, 141 E 8th St, Holland
The Community Room is located in the basement (elevator access).

This will be good clean comedy (rated PG13) for a great cause, so enjoy some fun and laughs, knowing you going to help local children.

 

 

GET TICKETS:

stand-up-baby-ticketsFor advanced tickets, order online, email diapers@nestlings.org or call 616-298-1009. Tickets are $12.00 each or 2 for $22.00. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $15.00 each or 2 for $25.00.

Capacity at this venue is 200 and in the past it has been a sold out show! You can help raise thousands of dollars for Nestlings by making plans to attend the comedy show as a date night, a girls night out, or an outing with your high school youth group.

2013 Christmas Ornament

Ornament 2013

Nestlings has a custom Christmas Ornament thanks to local business owner Tammy  Hillen of Harbor Health & Massage and local artist Carolyn Stich who donated her artwork, time and talents to create this unique ornament for Nestlings. There is a limited number available and all ornaments are signed and numbered by Carolyn.

Carolyn themed the ornament on family fit in with Nestlings focus on children and families. The nativity scene with Joseph, Mary and the baby is a great connection of family focus. Please check out more artwork from Carolyn on her website at http://carolynstich.com/Welcome.html or visit her studio on 8th Street.

Almost all of the proceeds from the sale of the ornament go to support Nestlings mission to help diaper the children and babies in need. A very small portion of the proceeds will cover the cost of the ornament materials but all of Tammy’s and Carolyn’s time, talents and work was donated to make this fundraiser possible.  Thank you ladies for all your efforts supporting Nestlings mission.

So start your Christmas gift and decoration shopping early this year while supporting Nestlings mission at the same time. Get a beautiful limited collectable created by a local artist in our community. Each ornament cost $25.00, is signed and numbered by the artist and comes individually boxed. Get yours now before they are gone.

To purchase Christmas Ornaments email: nestlings.diapers@gmail.com, call 616-738-2458 or message us on Facebook at nestlingsdiaperbank.

Or visit one of the businesses supporting Nestlings selling the Christmas ornament:  Harbor Health and Massage http://www.harborhealthandmassage.com/, Carolyn Stich Studios http://carolynstich.com/Welcome.html , EcoBuns http://www.ecobuns.com/ , Tip Toes http://tiptoesonline.com/ , Globe Design and Vision http://globe-vision.com/, Untangled Salon http://www.untangled-salon.com/

Saying Thank You

 Thanks

Nestlings would like to say Thank You to Alex Ritzema, The Svenjollies Improv Troupe – Theresa Glass, Rob Ryzenga, Steve Childerston and Stand-Up Comedian Christoper Young for a wonderful Fall Funnies for Fannies Fundraiser this past Saturday.

Nestlings says thank you to all who were involved from the community, audience, volunteers, supporters, vendors, venue, local businesses and raffle prize donors.  There are so many that were involved and help to keep Nestlings mission supported.

Without all of you Nestlings could not help the babies in need.  You are all the keys to Nestlings success and each and every effort is noticed and appreciated.

Thank you all very much!

6 Months Worth for One Baby

036EcoBuns Cloth Diaper Store created this Diaper Drive display to show how many diapers one baby goes through in 6 months. All these diapers for only one baby. This is why we need your support at our Funnies For Fannies Fundraiser. Get your tickets now its just over a week away.

Celebrating Earth Day: Launching a New Cloth Diaper Initiative

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In conjunction with Earth Day, which is being celebrated on Monday, April 22, 2013, Nestlings Diaper Bank is proud to launch our new cloth diaper initiative!

The cloth diaper program is sponsored by EcoBuns, a natural parenting boutique located in Holland, Michigan.

We are so grateful for our partnership with EcoBuns, providing much needed expertise and follow-up for the families that are learning how to use and wash cloth diapers appropriately.

Most of the partner agencies that we support by providing free disposable diapers report that cloth diapers are not a viable option because of limitations from daycare centers and access to laundry facilities.

We recognize that cloth diapering is not a realistic choice for all low-income families but since these are not obstacles for every family Nestlings is happy to provide the option of cloth diapers for families that would like a sustainable, economical and ecological solution to the on-going expense of disposable diapers.

Cloth Diaper Kits will be distributed through our partner agencies.

Are you a “cloth diapering parent”?

Register for the Holland, MI location of the Great Cloth Diaper Change happening this Saturday, April 20. This worldwide, record-setting event helps to raise awareness of cloth diapering and EcoBuns – host of the Holland site – is also using this event to kick off and celebrate the partnership that will now make it possible to offer a cloth diaper option to families in need of diapers.

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More about Cloth Diapering:
EcoBuns http://www.ecobuns.com/ or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ecobuns
Great Cloth Diaper Change http://greatclothdiaperchange.com/

Diapers Make a Difference in the Fight Against Child Abuse

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The month of April is nationally recognized as Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month. Since 2011 Nestlings has been on the frontline of child abuse prevention in Ottawa County. What weapon do we use to fight for the safety of local infants and toddlers? Diapers.

How do diapers help to keep kids safe?

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A child left in a soiled or wet diaper tends to cry more; the parent’s frustration increases; the child is more at risk for abuse and neglect. The free diapers distributed by Nestlings prevent the suffering of children left in soiled or wet diapers for long periods of time, and they provide hope to struggling families who are trying to make a supply of diapers last as long as possible.

Agencies like The Center for Women in Transition that seek to combat child abuse know that, first and foremost, basic needs must be met for a family to thrive. Fulfilling the basic physical and emotional needs of parents, providing social outlets, and fostering resilience — all are factors that will keep Ottawa County children safe and their families healthy.

And sometimes the first step is as simple as a days supply of diapers.

Read How Diapers Impact the Lives of Women in Transition.

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Belly Laughs and Birthday Celebration

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Nestlings is two years old!

Though the idea to start a diaper bank was born many months before, the official letter confirming our status as a 501c3 nonprofit organization was received in February 2011.

Thank you for celebrating with us at the first annual Funnies for Fannies comedy show where we were delighted to share belly laughs with friends and fans while enjoying the improv comedy provided by the Svenjollies comedy troupe directed by Alex Ritzema.

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Since the date of the comedy show coincided with Nestlings birthday Lemonjello’s Coffee graciously donated the decorated cookies to serve that evening.

(To see more pictures of the event check out the photo album posted on our Facebook page)

Birthday Gifts

Diaper and wipe donations make great birthday gifts! Your donation will not only help us celebrate two years of diapering babies in need, it will help us to continue.

Diapers and wipes can be drop shipped to us via Amazon.com, brought to one of our convenient drop off locations, or directly to our office.

Tax deductible donations can be mailed to Nestlings, 665 – 136th Ave, Ste 30, Holland, MI 49424.

Thank you for your support!

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