The Destiny Diaper Bank, that was located on Metro Parkway in Fort Myers, has a new home in Lehigh Acres. The search for a warehouse to store diapers to give away to mothers who cannot afford disposal diapers, is located at 5583 Lee St., Unit 4.
Rebecca Hines, the force behind the Destiny Diaper Bank, said the more has gone well, but the facility is small so she and her husband, who supports the ministry with his wife, are making more changes.
"We have had to secure another location at 3677 Central Ave. No. A., in Fort Myers for all our baby products. This is very exciting because we are calling this our Rewards Center," Hines said.
Schools opened on Aug. 18, and Hines said throughout the school year each month, Destiny Diaper Bank holds a dinner inviting all local student moms for a night out. At these dinners, student moms are treated to motivational speakers, career counselors, successful business women, and inspirational people that come to encourage them to focus on their future for success through education.
"The student moms have an opportunity to receive their monthly diaper donation from us along with some other baby items," Hines said.
In a newsletter to clients and those who contribute to the diaper bank, Hines said the changes that are being made at their new rewards center will be a center filled with more baby items such as strollers, beds, bounce seats, bassinets, baby bottles, clothing, toys, bedding, and a lot more.
"We are setting in place an incentive program based on a point system that will give points to our student moms that will reward them with "baby bucks" that they will be able to spend on needed baby items," Hines said.
She believes that it is very important to not just hand out things to everyone but to have a system that will motivate, encourage, and reward those that are making a difference in their lives and the lives of others.
"These are times when we need to give a little helping hand, but the best help is to encourage those in difficult situations to look inside of themselves and find a way to become productive. They will be better off in the long run," she said.
Hines is excited about the new center and thinks it is going to be fun once opened. She invites supports to help out.
"You will be glad you did," she said. To get more information call her on her cell phone at 239-910-8198.
Hines is considering the use of cloth diapers and she says these aren't your grandma's diapers with the pins.
She planned to visit Naples where cloth diapers are sold and said it has been her desire for some time to add cloth diapers to what the ministry does. The distribution of them has to be solved, she said.
Hines said she receives phone call often from moms that are on their last diaper and do not know what to do.
"They are stay at home moms and do not place their babies in childcare in order to attend school or work.
"They use disposable diapers and run out of them often, recycling on family, friends, or someone to help them each month," she said.
Destiny Diaper Bank was formed seven years ago as a mission to give back to the community. Since then more than one million diapers have been given to those in need.
In addition to helping moms who need several diapers a day, help is also extended to the elderly who need their services due to medical problems. Her agency is a 501(c3) non-profit charity so donors may deduct the cost of diapers or donated funds from their taxes.
Hines noted that the cost for disposable diapers from birth to potty training can run close to $4,000. She says she wonders if she helps them with diapers today, how will they get them for the next several years.
However when Hines offers cloth diapers, she said most of the time they are refused - moms not wanting to bother with the effort that goes into washing and caring for these diapers. She said she usually asks these moms if they throw away their children's clothing when they are dirty, try to make a point.
"Well times are changing and I believe that if you cannot afford disposable diapers, your children are not in daycare, then you should consider cloth diapers," she said.
How they will be distributed is under discussion but she says she knows that there has to be some moms out there that would really appreciate them and not let them go to waste.
"I will be making some decisions on the cloth diaper issue in the next couple of months, but if there are those out there who are interested in jumping on board to assist with this, let me know," she said.
Hines also said that donations to Destiny Diaper Bank are down since the move to Lehigh. She said there were expenses due to the move and the ministry needs help from the public.