What is a Diaper Bank?
Just as food banks are a dependable source of food, diaper banks supply a basic need for families in crisis. Diaper banks collect, store and donate diapers to a network of partner agencies who distribute free diapers to families facing financial hardship. Diaper banks rely on the generosity of the community for financial and diaper donations. Acting together, individuals, diaper banks, faith-based institutions, service providers, businesses, organizations, and elected officials can get diapers to all babies in need.
The Diaper Bank of Skagit County provides diapers to the following social service organizations that are already helping families in need through comprehensive programs and services. Currently there are six organizations in the Diaper Distribution Network and growing.
We believe "basic human needs" includes adequate supplies of diapers to ensure healthy babies .
In 2012, retired maternity nurse, Calista Scott, was volunteering at the Sunrise Food Bank in La Conner, WA when she noticed mothers looking for diapers. Surprised and concerned she could not stop thinking about the mothers and their situation.
Away in Eastern Washington for a year, Ms. Scott heard on national news, the story of Michelle Old, a young mother who started a Diaper Bank in Durham, North Carolina. This was the story she needed to hear.
Home in 2015, Ms. Scott learned the Board of Health of Skagit County had appointed a group of community leaders, called The Population Health Trust, who shared a commitment to improve the quality of life for ALL in Skagit County. Seizing the opportunity to begin advocating for families with infants and toddlers, Ms. Scott participated in a community survey in the spring of 2015, and in forums held throughout the summer.
Striving to learn more, she came across the National Diaper Bank Network, the principal source on diaper need in the country. In the fall of 2015, she started a project called Diaper Need Awareness and took it to her community. She asked mayors of towns and cities in Skagit County to sign proclamations during Diaper Need Awareness Week as part of a nationwide campaign shedding light on diaper need and its effect on families and children. Amazingly, the fourth National Diaper Banks in America Conference came to Seattle in October of 2015, and she attended.
Calista and her husband Dean Scott began handing out diapers in 2016. In 2017, they were fiscally sponsored by Community Action of Skagit County. In 2018, they became members of the National Diaper Bank Network and started a non-profit (501c3) called the Diaper Bank of Skagit County. Each year they attend National Diaper Banks in America Conferences, having traveled to Philadelphia, Orlando and most recently, Atlanta, GA.