GALESBURG, Ill. (WMBD) — Loving Bottoms Diaper Bank on Wednesday, March 10, held a hybrid open-house and virtual Facebook event to commemorate reaching a huge milestone – distributing one million diapers to families in need.
The bank partners with 22 organizations in the west-central Illinois region, streamlining the collection and distribution of diapers to low-income families.
Its founder and executive director, Lee Ann Porter, is no stranger to being in need. In 2004 as a single mother of three, she remembers having to choose between diapers and gas.
“They’re [diapers] going to cost a family around $70 to $80 a month per child. So when you look at the percentage of somebody’s income, even if they’re working, if you’re working [for] minimum wage, that’s still going to take up a nice bit of your income,” said Porter
More than a decade later in 2015, she started Loving Bottoms Diaper Bank after reading an article about diaper needs in the community. The first year the organization distributed 33,000 diapers. Last year, they gave away 500,000 diapers.
Now, they just distributed their one-millionth diaper, and expect to top 500,000 again this year.
“I get a little emotional about it, ’cause I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to need that. And so it’s just I never thought when we started it and we were just in my house, I never thought that we would like to grow like this,” she said.
Porter said the need is so great that if they had the capacity, they could distribute one million diapers every year.