In 2010, the founders of The Diaper Bank (North Haven, Conn.), Westside Baby (Seattle), the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona (Tucson), and the St. Paul Diaper Bank Partnership (McHenry, Ill.), along with members of the Huggies® Leadership Team — formed the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) to create national dialog on the collective impact of diaper banks in addressing a most basic need of babies, access to clean diapers.
NDBN’s mission was to raise awareness of the pervasiveness of diaper need, to help new and existing diaper banks grow to meet the needs of local communities, and to secure resources that help get diapers to babies in need.
Today, Huggies supports the National Diaper Bank Network as the founding sponsor. Since June 2010, Huggies has worked to combat diaper need through its No Baby Unhugged® campaign, donating more than 20 million diapers per year to families in need…that’s more than 120 million diapers to date!
The diaper bank movement of today includes more than 315 member diaper banks and diaper distribution organizations helping families in 45 U.S. states, D.C. and Guam.
Beginnings of the Diaper Bank Movement
The roots of the diaper bank movement extend back to 1994, when Resolve, Inc., a small consulting firm in Tucson, held a diaper drive during the holiday season to assist a local crisis nursery.
Encouraged by the enthusiastic response, and the subsequent demand for emergency diaper assistance, the firm gained an understanding of how the community could come together and help solve a problem. The executives at Resolve made the December Diaper Drive an annual tradition, and within five years they were collecting 300,000 diapers during drive and distributed the diapers to families at 30 local social service agencies. In 2000, the diaper drive effort was spun off into an independent nonprofit organization, the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona, the nation’s first diaper bank.
In 2004, Joanne Samuel Goldblum, a social worker in New Haven, Conn., adopted the Arizona model to found The Diaper Bank in response to the desperate need for diapers that she witnessed in her work with impoverished families. Initially creating and operating the fledgling organization from her home, Joanne went on to establish the nation’s largest diaper bank. Today, The Diaper Bank distributes more than 2.5 million clean diapers annually to struggling families throughout central and southern Connecticut.
The success of these two diaper banks inspired similar efforts throughout the country. With growing awareness of diaper need, small but passionate groups of people responded. Some groups held diaper drives, others went on to found independent diaper banks in their communities, often through their churches, and/or as an extension of existing poverty-related relief agencies.