BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Each February at the six Y-ASPIRE programs up and down the valley, the program’s theme is “Our Community.” Throughout the month, participants study different aspects of their community, with particular focus on “community helpers”—people and organizations who make their community a better place to live, work, learn and play.
During the month, participants in Y-ASPIRE at Rockingham Central Elementary School chose Parks Place to be the beneficiary of a service-learning project. Paige Martin, Resource Coordinator at Parks Place, then visited the program to talk about the many programs and services that run through her organization. She also mentioned their Diaper Bank, the only program of its kind in Vermont where parents can receive free diapers and wipes. A few days later, the Y-ASPIRE group walked next door to see the Diaper Bank in person, guided by Martin.
There, the Y-ASPIRE participants learned that the Diaper Bank has over 19,000 diapers in it but that most are for younger children. Martin stressed that they have a need for more diapers for older children—sizes 4 through pull-ups. And wipes are always a need she told the children. Open packages of diapers (if a child has outgrown a certain size, has a sensitivity to a certain brand, etc.) are gladly accepted. The Parks Place team can repackage them before distribution.
“I had so much fun exploring the Diaper Bank with the kiddos at Y-ASPIRE,” said Martin. “We talked a lot about how expensive diapers can be and why people might need help getting them.” She added with a smile, “They were really relieved that we only have new diapers at our Diaper Bank.”
The Y-ASPIRE kids set a goal of soliciting 2,021 diapers and 50 packages of wipes. Drop boxes have been set up in the hallway outside of the school’s office and outside Meeting Waters YMCA’s office at 49 The Square. The Y-ASPIRE diaper drive will end on March 31, when the children will deliver all of the donated diapers and wipes to Parks Place. Parks Place will gladly accept donations of diapers and wipes at any time.