The Michigan City Fire Department has teamed up with The Salvation Army of Michigan City with a very specific mission in mind: to restock the shelves of the Diaper Bank. On average, The Salvation Army of Michigan City distributes about 6,000 diapers per week to needy families with young children. But for the past few months, the organization has struggled to keep the shelves full.
“We usually purchase these diapers through the Food Bank of Northern Indiana because they are available at such a discount,” explained Captain Dale Simmons, who oversees the local Salvation Army. “But the Food Bank has been out of stock for the past few months.”
This diaper bank program is sustained largely through a $2,000 grant The Salvation Army received from the Michigan City Community
Enrichment Corporation. But those funds don’t last very long when purchasing diapers at full retail cost, Simmons said.
“Through the Food Bank, we can purchase diapers for about $5 or $6 per case. While we are trying to keep the diaper bank operating, we’ve been purchasing cases of diapers for about $24 per case,” Simmons explained. “Although we believe this is a crucial program in our community, it’s getting tougher to sustain the diaper bank at these costs.”
When the Michigan City Fire Department heard of this concern, Fire Chief Randy Novak created a Diaper Drive and volunteered his stations as a drop-off location to support this program. “It’s all about community,” he said. “We’re out in the community every day and we see people in need. Hosting this diaper drive is just one small way we can help support the people of our city.”
The Diaper Drive will run from Monday, July 16 through Friday, July 20. Anyone wishing to contribute is encouraged to purchase a pack of diapers (any brand) and drop them in a drop box at any Michigan City Fire Department station in Michigan City, or at City Hall. Stations are located at 2510 E. Michigan Blvd., 2005 U.S. Highway 12, 1013 IN Highway 212, 5000 Cleveland Ave. and 1012 Ohio Street.
While any size diaper donation is appreciated, Simmons said the greatest need is for sizes four, five and six. Monetary donations to help purchase diapers for this program can be mailed to 1201 S. Franklin Street, Michigan City, IN 46360, and are accepted throughout the year.
The Salvation Army Diaper Bank was created in 2014 as a way to help families in need with a necessary household expense.
“We serve thousands of clients every year through our food pantry, but one of the things that The Salvation Army noticed was a need for help with diaper expenses in our community,” Simmons said. “Diapers are an expensive but necessary part of life when you’re a parent. By providing diapers to these families, we are helping to free up a few dollars each month that can be spent on groceries, rent or other household needs.”
More information about The Salvation Army and programs including the Diaper Bank is available by calling (219) 874-6885.