Incentives for moms: Diaper bank offers program
Mothers striving to improve their situation for their families can find help through programs offered by a ministry that is prepared to provide a hand up.
Destiny Diaper Bank, a non-profit organization that aids struggling mothers by providing free diapers and other support, is taking new applications for its Student Mom and Working Mom Shopping Day attendance incentive program, which helps these moms earn much-needed rewards to make the lives of their families a little easier.
Rebecca Hines, who runs Destiny Ministries of Southwest Florida (it has no religious affiliation), said she started the organization eight years ago to assist low-income moms with diapers.
“Me and my husband run this. We started it with $200,000 of our own money and started helping everyone who needed diapers, so it got to be too much,” Hines said. “We were giving out more than 3,000 diapers a day, so we started pulling it in.”
The real inspiration came from an FGCU student who told Hines how much she appreciated the help the diaper bank gave her.
“She said if it weren’t for the diaper bank, she wouldn’t be in school. The light came on and it thought this was where it’s at,” Hines said. “I want to help moms who have dreams and goals to become what they dream of becoming and help them achieve their goals.”
To incentivize these dreams, Hines created Student Mom and Working Mom Shopping Day attendance incentive program. Mothers who put in eight hours at work or at school will earn $1 in “baby bucks,” which can be redeemed items such as clothing, car seats, strollers, beds, high chairs, bottles, bouncy seats and walkers.
Baby Bucks are accumulated and totaled for each month and cannot be transferred to other months or other people. Baby Bucks must be spent completely on shopping day.
“I wanted to help the moms with more than diapers. We get a lot of donations from the community, so we decided to help the in-school moms as well. I came up with the idea for baby bucks,” Hines said. “The object is to keep them in school and working. It can be very expensive when you add in child care and everything else.”
To qualify applicants need an attendance record for the previous month showing the total hours from school for student moms; payroll stubs from work for the previous month showing the total hours worked for working moms; proof of low-income such as W.I.C. assistance, and a photo ID.
Destiny Diaper Bank reserves the right to question or deny any student mom or working mom that does not show adequate proof of low-income assistance, or proof of school or working attendance.
Since its inception, Destiny Diaper Bank has given out more than 3 million diapers, including 380,000 last year, and plans to start a mobile diaper bank this year, which would be the first in the nation, Hines said.
Donations can be sent to the Destiny Diaper Bank, 3677 Central Ave. Unit A, Fort Myers, FL 33901. Baby clothing and baby items must be gently used, clean, and from a smoke-free environment.
The diaper bank is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For questions about Destiny Diaper Bank Student Mom or Working Mom incentive program, call 288-6209 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.