Jake’s Network of Hope moves into larger space to meet greater need
NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - The National Diaper Bank Network reports 1 in 3 families struggles to provide clean diapers for their children.
A local nonprofit that serves as a diaper bank saw need increase in the last year, and in response its mission has grown.
Jake’s Network of Hope, formerly known as Jake’s Diapers, is the largest cloth diaper bank in the world.
The nonprofit, which also provides disposable diapers, feminine care products, and other adult care essentials, had a lot going on this past year.
“In the first six months of 2020 we did more than double everything we did in 2019, and that was with most of our volunteers also staying home with COVID,” said Executive Director Stephanie Bowers. “So it was a crazy time.”
The need has grown so much the group decided they needed to move into a much bigger location. In December, they moved into a new space in Neenah and have been settling in since.
“Six times the space we were in, which is really exciting,” said Bowers.
Bowers says compared to the cramped situation they were in before, their new Neenah location is night and day.
“We can now welcome a lot more volunteer groups in and keep everyone really distant from each other which is just awesome,” said Bowers. “So it’s a lot safer for volunteers, we’re able to work better and faster to help even more families in need. It’s just such a joy to be here.”
It also allows the organization to grow its mission, making it more able to accept and distribute other types of basic need items.
“For example, working with major retailers and procuring socks and underwear or blankets or kitchen supplies,” said Bowers.
Right now, Bowers says, they’re leasing the space.
“Long-term we’d love to stay here and make this our permanent home. So, one of our goals is to buy the building and be here as long as we can,” said Bowers. “It’s just an amazing opportunity to serve our community and every dollar makes a huge difference.”
To Bowers, the move couldn’t have come at a better time.
“It has been such a blessing because so many more families are falling into poverty and falling into crisis, so if we can help catch families as they’re falling in, we can bounce them back quicker,” said Bowers.
To donate to Jake’s Network of Hope visit its website.
People can also keep up with the nonprofit through its Facebook page.
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