A nonprofit group in Jacksonville is looking for thousands of Luvs and Pampers to help families in need of diapers.
The World’s Largest Diaper Drive kicks off next week to collect 2 million diapers nationwide, and the Diaper Bank for Northeast Florida is joining in.
Diaper Bank founder and President Crystal Parks said her goal is to collect 10,000 diapers next week for distribution to Jacksonville-area families, a mission she began when she realized many of them need them just as much as food donations.
“When I have discussions with people about what it is I do, they have the same reaction I did —I never would have thought about that; I never would have thought about diapers,” Parks said. “I let everyone know that diapers are an essential need, like food and shelter. What would you do if you did not have enough diapers for baby? Probably use a T-shirt or towel. I am just on a mission to give families what they may lack.”
Diaper banks and organizations from across Ohio, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New York and Washington State have joined together to help needy families get a sufficient supply of diapers to keep their baby or toddler clean, dry and healthy. The effort, led by the Bottoms Up Diaper Bank in Columbus, Ohio, aims to collect 2 million diapers nationwide next week — Monday through Saturday.
As the mother of a 3-year-old son then, Parks said she formed her diaper bank in 2019 when she learned that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other assistance programs did not let clients buy those needed baby items.
“I learned that multiple nonprofits were getting requests for diapers, more than other baby items, and that had me wondering why diapers and not food,” she said. “I did some research online and learned about the issue of diaper need and that it is a problem for one in three American families.”
When she searched for a Jacksonville diaper bank, she could not find one. So she set up her own as a resource for other social service organizations and their clients who experience diaper need.
Parks has distributed more than 600,000 diapers so far to nonprofit agencies for donation to families in need. Its website lists local nonprofit agencies that get diapers to families in need — Baby Luv Pregnancy Center, Family Support Services, The Lotus Flower Project – Project W.I.N., and The Cloth Option.
Banks’ diaper bank does not distribute directly to individuals or families.
How to donate
Details about donating are listed on a diaper bank web page.
People who want to help can buy any size or brand of diaper, then take them to one of eight community drop-off locations in Duval or Clay counties from Monday through Saturday. The drive accepts unopened and opened packages of diapers and pull-ups, as well as unopened baby wipes containers. Very gently used cloth diapers are also accepted.
These are the drop-off locations:
- 24/7 Pediatric Care Centers at 8990 R.G. Skinner Parkway, Jacksonville; 6274 Third Ave. S. in Jacksonville Beach; and 1679 Eagle Harbor Parkway on Fleming Island.
- CrossView Realty San Jose, 9393 Mill Springs Drive in Jacksonville, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.
- Night Lite Pediatrics at 11140 Beach Blvd. and 10325 San Jose Blvd. in Jacksonville.
- Once Upon A Child, 9735 Old St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville.
- Play Factory and Café, 12233 Sago Ave. W., Jacksonville.
The organization also has wishlists set up on Amazon and Walmart. The Amazon list is here; Walmart is here. Items purchased through those lists will be delivered directly to the Diaper Bank of Northeast Florida.
Monetary donations can be made at jaxdiaperbank.networkforgood.com. There’s also a link at jaxdiaperbank.org/events.
If you can’t make it to a drop-off site, diapers can be mailed to Diaper Bank for Northeast Florida, 10864 Steeding Horse Drive, Jacksonville 32257.
FYI: The Florida legislature has approved a bill to permanently eliminate sales tax on diapers and incontinence products, building on legislation passed last year that eliminated that infant diapers sales tax through June 30.