A common request to Hamptons Community Outreach (HCO) is for diapers, so when Executive Director Marit Molin learned that there is not a single diaper bank in all of Suffolk County, HCO decided to establish a Diaper Drive to assist local families.
“It is hard to believe that in an area with so much wealth, we have neighbors that have to make impossible choices between food, paying their rent, and getting diapers for their child,” Molin, who is also a social worker, noted.
To further their reach, HCO enlisted local schools. The East Hampton High School and Pierson High School Honor Societies joined the efforts, as did the Southampton High School Key Club.
Now, there are several locations diapers can be donated. In East Hampton, the East Hampton High School and the Avenues Studio Hamptons are accepting donations. In Southampton, diapers can be dropped off at First Presbyterian Church of Southampton and the Southampton High School. In Bridgehampton, Hayground School and the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) welcome donations. In Sag Harbor, diapers can be dropped off at the Sag Harbor Learning Center, Sag Harbor Elementary School and Pierson Middle-High School, as well as at the John Jermain Library. Diapers can also be purchased from Hampton Community Outreach’s Amazon page (amazon.com).
“It’s fantastic when we [the library] have the opportunity to collaborate with other local organizations on initiatives like the Diaper Drive,” Wonda R. Miller, John Jermain Memorial Library Assistant Director, shared. “The Diaper Drive was initiated by Christina Little, the psychologist at Pierson High School, on behalf of the Honor Society. She was aware that our children’s librarian, Diana LaMarca, worked with the Sag Harbor Food Pantry on a coat drive this winter and this inspired her to reach out to us regarding the Diaper Drive.”
Miller continued, “Pierson’s Honor Society has partnered with Hamptons Community Outreach to sponsor a Diaper Drive that we hope will result in establishing the East End’s first Diaper Bank. As it stands, the closest diaper bank for East End families in need is in Melville. The Honor Society students have placed drop boxes at Pierson, SHES, and the Sag Harbor Learning Center, as well as the library.”
The John Jermain Memorial Library will have a box set up in the lower level entrance vestibule for donations through Friday, March 12. The Diaper Drives at Avenues and Hayground will also end the week of March 12. However, CMEE, First Presbyterian, Pierson, East Hampton High School, and Southampton High School will continue to accept donations.
The drive is off to a great start. Hamptons Community Outreach recently distributed its first donations of 2,000 diapers and 800 wipes to community members in need – and HCO expects that there will be many more in future.
“For all the low-income parents in our community that work hard to put food on the table – diapers, which is an essential item for a baby’s well-being, become a luxury they can’t afford,” Molin stated. “This is a problem we want to solve.”
In 2018, Molin founded Hamptons Art Camp to provide local underserved youth access to summer camp. But when the pandemic hit, the organization evolved into HCO, shifting its focus to four different areas of outreach: mental health, child-centered services, crisis intervention, and food insecurity.
For more information, visit www.hamptonscommunityoutreach.org.