One of the JLC’s greatest missions is to help women and families living in poverty. Our partnership with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank allows JLC to deliver an immediate impact felt by women and families and further sweeping over the entire community. Diapers can be a huge financial burden on families and there is currently no other program or resource available in the area for caregivers to get free diapers. Diapers are not covered by SNAP, WIC, or any other government assistance program. A lack of diapers, or running out of diapers can mean any of the following grim possibilities for a family:
- Resorting to reusing disposable diapers or using objects like plastic bags in place of diapers
- Leaving babies in diapers for prolonged periods of times, or reusing diapers can lead to diaper rash, infections, and broken bonds between caregiver and child
- The inability to attend work, which can lead to losing a job completely.
- Many daycare centers require up to a week’s supply of diapers to be available in order to leave your child. If that abundance of diapers is unattainable for a family, and no other childcare is available, someone must miss work.
Starting in the winter of 2016-2017, JLC Members conducted a thorough community needs assessment to identify and prioritize critical local issues. After learning from nonprofit and business leaders what the needs were in the Greater Cincinnati community, Members executed a request for proposal process. This RFP to partner with the JLC was issued to the public based on the results of the community needs assessment. After several rounds of review and a vote by JLC membership, the decision was made to partner with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank.
Partnership Quick Facts:
- Total Volunteer Hours: 3,000+ hours volunteered
- Monies Committed Annually: $25,000
- Partnership Years Committed: 3
- Diapers Distributed: 175,000 per month
- Period Supply Kits Distributed: 500 per month
- Potty Training Tool Kits Distributed: 50 per month
- SCDB Agency Partnerships: 42 agencies in the Greater Cincinnati Area
- Organization Waitlists: 34 as of December 2019
- “These diapers are the only reason I can take my child to daycare tomorrow and go to work. So grateful.”
- “Sweet Cheeks is a big help. Can’t say thanks enough. The people giving the diapers I’ve met are always pleasant and never make you feel bad for your situation. You can talk to them about your children and yourself.” -Cradle Cincinnati Client, 2018
- “The diapers helped when I needed them the most. It also gave me people I could trust and talk to if I had any questions about my children. I don’t know what I would do without them.”
- “I am a high school student, so everything helps. I am just doing the best I can do.”
JLC volunteers have made significant contributions to Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank throughout the multi-year partnership. Volunteer activities have included:
- Leading and participating in diaper wrappings and filling orders for partner agencies
- Organizing diaper drives supported by league members
- Transporting diaper donations
- Planning and organizing fundraising events.
- Expanded Support beyond Diapers:
- Potty-Training Tool Kit: League members also created a Potty-Training Tool Kit, which aims to help families potty train toddlers, thus eliminating the need for diapers.
- League members were excited to support Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank in hosting the National Diaper Bank Network Conference, which was held in Cincinnati in October 2019, including providing an advocacy panel for the event
- Support the efforts to host the annual fundraising event at the new Lower Price Hill location
- Organizing league events to support Sweet Cheek Diaper bank including NamasDEY Yoga Even at Paul Brown Stadium (proceeds benefited Tidal Babe Period Bank) and Bottoms Up for Baby Happy Hour to celebrate National Diaper Need awareness day
- League members supported the ‘Family Day’ event by bringing their families to wrap diapers and fill agency orders with the people they love most!
League members efforts are now focused on developing a plan to ensure the success of Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank after the partnership ends, guaranteeing that babies across Cincinnati have access to the clean diapers they need in order to remain healthy, both physically and mentally.
- The volunteer support provided by Junior League of Cincinnati volunteers allows for the Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank staff to focus on their vision of eliminating diaper need in our community so that all babies have a chance to be happy, healthy, and safe. Each hour volunteered gives SCDB employees back an hour of dedicated work time.
- The Junior League of Cincinnati’s partnership with Sweet Cheeks Diaper bank is transformative for the League because not only are we able to support and accelerate a local non-profit who is directly impacting families and their fight against poverty, but we are able to help support nearly three dozen other agencies around the city with the same mission. The partnership model (JLC + Community Org) allows for the League to create new community relationships, strengthen existing ones, and promote our mission across the area in an irreplaceable way.
Going Beyond the Partnership: Influencing the Policies at Hand
In March of 2019, Members of the Junior League of Cincinnati, along with Megan Fischer and Jean Hodge from Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, joined forces at the State Capitol in Columbus to advocate for House Bill 19, which would exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax in the state of Ohio. They met with five Representatives and three Senators over the course of the day. Both JLC Member Jamie Stinson as well as Megan Fischer gave testimony on House Bill 60, which would exempt infant/toddler diapers from sales tax in the state of Ohio. After their productive day, attendees had the opportunity to tour the Capitol building.
For more information, visit https://www.sweetcheeksdiaperbank.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.