(Photo added: WestSide Baby and St. Joseph’s board members)
Days before one of its biggest donation events of the year – the Stuff the Bus diaper drive, coming up next Sunday (July 20th) – WestSide Baby has big news: It’s expanding, merging with a similar Capitol Hill-based agency. Here’s the announcement:
Thousands of children living in King County will benefit from a new collaboration between WestSide Baby and St. Joseph’s Baby Corner, located on Capitol Hill. The Boards of Directors from both agencies unanimously voted to merge the organizations, effective July 11, 2014. This exciting development comes as WestSide Baby is preparing for its largest ever outreach event: the 14th annual Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive July 20th.
(WSB file photo from past WestSide Baby ‘Stuff the Bus’ event)
WestSide Baby will continue to operate from its headquarters in White Center, and St. Joseph’s Baby Corner facility in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood will remain open under the leadership of WestSide Baby. Baby Corner will operate under the WestSide Baby name while continuing to honor the Baby Corner legacy.
The merger of St. Joseph’s Baby Corner, established in 1988, and WestSide Baby, established in 2001, capitalizes on the strengths of each organization: the St. Joseph’s Baby Corner community’s longevity and loyalty, and WestSide Baby’s operating systems and deep-rooted support. The organizations have very compatible missions serving local children in need by collecting and distributing diapers, clothing and safety equipment, such as car seats and cribs. Both agencies have operated in partnership with established social service agencies, such as public health and food banks. Combining operations will immediately improve the service delivery to families. More diapers, clothing and safety equipment will reach more local families in need.
The announcement continues ahead, along with more information on how you can help with Sunday’s Stuff the Bus event:
“WestSide Baby serves children all over King County, but we realized two years ago that we were failing many of the struggling children in areas of central Seattle,” WestSide Baby Executive Director Nancy Woodland said. “We began laying the groundwork to improve our systems so we could accelerate growth. While doing this we remained committed to honoring our West Seattle roots and serving the thousands of children living right in this neighborhood and in South King County with critical items such as diapers and car seats. When approached by the Baby Corner Board of Directors, we knew this partnership was exactly the right step to achieve that goal.”
The resulting Board of Directors will include current WestSide Baby directors and add directors from the Baby Corner Board.
The Stuff the Bus diaper drive, which originated in West Seattle, has grown into a regional event, as WestSide Baby will have major donation sites in West Seattle, Burien and, for the first time ever, in Ballard. School buses will be on hand at each major location from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 20 to collect donations, and supporters are encouraged to donate new or opened packages of diapers as well as hygiene items, such as wipes and diaper cream. The most need sizes newborn, 5 and 6, and on-line giving is available at www.westsidebaby.org.
WestSide Baby hopes to collect 290,000 diapers for children in need on July 20th. More than 70 individuals and businesses are hosting diaper drives to help fill the buses. More than a dozen HomeStreet Bank and AmericanWest Bank branches are collecting diapers, and 24 King County Safeway stores are offering significant savings while collecting right in their stores throughout the weekend. Several participating drivers are located in eastern King County, and WestSide Baby will partner with Issaquah’s Eastside Baby Corner to collect and distribute diapers collected on the east side.
There are more than 10,000 children under the age of three living in poverty in King County. Many families are forced to choose between buying diapers and paying bills, as diapers are not covered by any government aid programs, including food stamps or Women, Infant and Children (WIC) programs. Babies who sit in dirty diapers are more likely to suffer infection, illness and abuse. These children will need at least 22 million diapers per year.
Learn more about the event and see a full list of drive locations at http://www.westsidebaby.org/news-and-events/stuff-bus-diaper-drive-2014.
Stuff the Bus locations:
-West Seattle: HomeStreet Bank, 4022 SW Alaska St.
-Burien: Burien Toyota Scion, 15025 1st Ave. S.
-Ballard: AmericanWest Bank, 2237 NW 57th St.