CHARLESTOWN, IN (WAVE) - A group of Charlestown women have teamed up with a local church to help parents and children in need.
The D.I.A.P.E.R. Project operates out of the Charlestown Community Presbyterian Church. D.I.A.P.E.R. stands for diapering infants and providing emergency resources. Every Wednesday, they open their doors and help people with their diaper bank.
"Started as a dream to help babies," D.I.A.P.E.R. Project Director Donna McCreary said. "To my knowledge, we are the only diaper bank in Clark County."
Keeping the shelves stocked is important for McCreary.
"Currently have approximately 60 active clients," McCreary said.
These clients are mothers, fathers, grandparents who need help raising their children according to McCreary.
"One in five families in America struggle to provide adequate diapers for their children," McCreary said.
Diapers can cost anywhere from $700-$1,000 a year per child.
"The number one stolen item in pharmaceuticals and discount stores is diapers and formula," McCreary said. "So there is a need."
The D.I.A.P.E.R. Project started in 2015 and over the past two years, they have helped 200 children in Clark County with basic items.
"Diapers, wipes, bathing items for children are not covered by WIC and food stamps most people don't realize that," McCreary said.
McCreary said it's a cycle; if parents can't afford diapers, they can't send their child to daycare.
"Then you can't go to work or you can't go to school," McCreary said. "You are making your financial situation worse."
Rev. Cindy Cushman has seen the impact the diaper project has had in her community: "These women interact with the moms and dads who come in here," said Rev. Cushman. "They don't require tons of paperwork. They don't come across as you need to prove that you really need this. They have to prove that they live in this county and they have to prove that child's birthdate so that they qualify for the services."
Clients are allowed to visit once a month. They service children from birth to 3 years old. Everything is free.
"We give them diapers, wipes, and up to ten healthy food items every month," McCreary said.
"Parents that are served here are treated with dignity and respect that's one of the things I like about it," Rev. Cushman said.
The Charlestown Community Presbyterian Church is located 1370 Monroe Street in Charlestown. The D.I.A.P.E.R. project is open every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The organization is dependent on donations from the community.