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Cascades Blog: Sterling Rotary Helps Build a Diaper Bank

Every baby needs diapers. On average, a child needs 7,000 diapers from birth to age two, according to the Rotary Club of Sterling. Infants go through 10 to 12 diapers a day—and each diaper costs 23 to 26 cents, for a total expense of about $70 to $90 each month.

Members of the Sterling Rotary—along with partners including Giant Food, My Guys Moving, diaper donors across the region and the NOVA Diaper Bank—work throughout the year to obtain and distribute diapers to families in need in Loudoun and western Fairfax County.

This year, the Rotary’s fall diaper drive is expected to round up nearly 85,000 diapers and thousands of baby wipes during its annual effort to replenish the NOVA Diaper Bank. The diaper bank, sponsored by the Sterling Rotary Club, is operated by A Hand Up-NOVA, an organization run by local Rotarians.

“There is no federal program that subsidizes diapers,” Susan Mullen, the Rotarian leading the project, said. “I thought you could go in and buy diapers with food stamps. That was not true.”

The NOVA Diaper Bank began its mission with the goal of helping 150 babies each month. This month, it will provide diapers for 290 children, with the delivery of 12,334 diapers to eight different helping organizations in the area.

Although the numbers appear large, Mullen points out that the need is great.

“We can’t give them a full supply. We can only give about a quarter of what they need for a month,” she said. “I wish we could give more. We have limited funds and limited inventory.”

Mullen also noted that research she conducted when she took on the project indicated that 750 babies in the area need the organization’s help.

The diaper project requires a small army of volunteers. Sterling Rotary President Judy Brittle, a strong supporter of the effort, obtained a $2,750 grant for the project from the Rotary district. A Giant Foods team representing multiple stores stocked and stored the diapers until they were purchased and picked up for delivery to the diaper bank. My Guys Moving provided a truck and three employees to move the diapers from Giant to the diaper bank. Sterling Rotary Club members, including project founder Linda Carducci, provided vital support—and Mullen’s husband, Frank, helped her inventory the incoming donations.

Discussion is underway on plans for next year’s diaper drive. In the meantime, donation arrangements can be made by contacting .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Tax-deductible financial donations can be made by check, payable to A Hand Up-NOVA and mailed to P.O. Box 2115, Ashburn, VA 20146.

The Rotary Club of Sterling meets every Monday at 12:15 p.m. at The Bungalow Lakehouse. Members of the community are welcome to attend—and to join the Rotary effort to tackle humanitarian challenges.

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