DURHAM: Diaper bank looks to recover after theft - WRBL

Durham diaper bank looks to recover after theft

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Shelves sit empty at the Diaper Bank of North Carolina after thieves stole more than 13,000 diapers from the facility. Shelves sit empty at the Diaper Bank of North Carolina after thieves stole more than 13,000 diapers from the facility.

A local organization that provides diapers for families in need is trying to recover after someone broke into its facility located on the grounds of a church in Durham.

The fallout from that burglary of the Diaper Bank of North Carolina will impact thousands of families that are already facing tough times, founder Michelle Old said.

More than 13,000 diapers were stolen from the facility between noon Saturday and 8 a.m. Monday, leaving the shelves barren.

Old said she discovered the diapers missing when she went to pick up an order to be distributed to a homeless shelter. She found the order had been strewn across the floor, and various sizes of diapers were missing.

"They cleared us out of 4s," Old said. "They took every single 4 we had and the majority of our 5s."

The thieves even hit the storage room at the Diaper Bank, where diapers were stacked ceiling high.

"We are hearing in the community that they are being sold on the streets, which is disturbing," Old said.

A Durham church donates some of its rooms to the Diaper Bank, which ironically led to evidence. The burglars dropped a Bible when they were inside getting the diapers. Now, the church is changing the locks and donations are trickling in.

The Diaper Bank relies on donations, and distributes diapers through established family-support organizations. The organization says it fills the hole left by programs such as WIC and food stamps, which do not cover diapers.

"We are serving families that are hard-working families," Old said. "They are literally choosing between food and diapers. Diapers are very expensive."

Every month the Diaper Bank distributes about 29,000 diapers to local non-profits, including Welcome Baby. Sometimes parents go to desperate measures when they run out of diapers.

"Sometimes they show up here wearing towels -- and unfortunately even plastic bags," said Melva Henry, with the Welcome Baby program.

If you want to help, diapers can be dropped off at one of the Diaper Bank Hot Spot Drop-off locations:

  • Bull City Craft (2501 University Drive, Durham)
  • Stay & Play Snack Cafe (405A East Chapel Hill Street, Durham)
  • Chapel Hill Children's Clinic (301 Kildaire Road #200, Chapel Hill)

They can also be donated through an Amazon wish list, or cash contributions via Paypal.



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Melanie Sanders

Melanie anchors the 6 PM news. Her "What's Next" series features an engaging approach to storytelling and highlights the leaders in innovation who are shaping our future. Check it out HERE! More>>

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