Because of increased needs and the nonprofit’s goal to continue toward the future in a sustainable manner, the Diaper Resource Center-West Plains (DRC) is looking to the community continue its eight-year tradition of support in helping the organization meet families’ diaper-related needs.
The 501(c)(3) nonprofit is reaching out to the community with a Giving Tuesday campaign for donations. Giving Tuesday, recognized on Nov. 28 this year, is an annual tradition in which communities show support to charities and nonprofits on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.
DRC was organized in early 2015. Simply stated, DRC gathers and distributes disposable and cloth diapers to eight Howell County partnering nonprofits, which in turn distribute to individuals, all free of charge.
“The basic mission — to eliminate “diaper need” in our community,” DRC officials explain. “What is diaper need? One in three families struggle to provide enough diapers each day to keep their babies clean and dry. There are currently no federal or state programs which assist with the purchase of diapers. There are many circumstances which can create diaper need, and whatever those circumstances are, they don't erase the fact that babies need clean and dry bottoms to stay healthy and happy.”
DRC points out diaper needs are triple what they were before the COVID pandemic, with signs indicating the need will continue to grow.
Over the years DRC has received diaper donations from the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzlies; County Commissioner and auctioneer Billy Sexton; several churches, banks and individuals hosting diaper drives; Ozark Marketing; Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the Community Interagency Council; and the U.S. military, which donated in 2022 after Afghan resettlement efforts in what DRC called "a huge benefit" to its inventory.
In addition, the Diaper Bank of the Ozarks, based in Springfield, donates diapers annually.
Current distributing agencies include His Place House of Worship Diaper Ministry, Martha Vance Samaritan Outreach Center and Christos House. Clients are also served through the Howell County Health Department, 37th Division Children's Services, Ozark Action Early Head Start, Pregnancy Resource Center and The Chaos Closet.
Donations of disposable diapers can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays at Ozark Action, 710 E. Main St., West Plains. OAI provides DRC with warehouse space for diapers.
Area churches, businesses, organizations or individuals who wish to contribute may inquire via email, email@example.com; by phone to 417-256-6147; or by mail at P.O. Box 1773, West Plains, MO 65775. Donations of funds can be made through PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any Howell County group wishing to apply as a distributing agency should email or phone for an application.