Cathy Battle, the co-founder of the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank, stands with donations to the region’s only diaper bank (Submitted Photo/Uniontown Herald-Standard)
By Mark Hofmann
The region’s only diaper bank is in need of volunteers and drop-off locations to help fight the ongoing diaper crisis many families are facing.
The Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank was co-founded in 2012 by Cathy Battle and her husband, the Rev. Phillip Battle. The couple learned that, when families were asked what service has been overlooked by government and private agencies, the overwhelming response was diapers.
The organization not only collects and distributes diapers and coordinates diaper drives, but also works to bring public awareness of the need for diapers and recruits social service agencies to distribute them by establishing and supplying local diaper banks in the region.
From the organization’s original six-partner agencies in Allegheny County, the diaper bank has grown to 32 partner agencies in four additional counties including Fayette, Washington, Westmoreland and Somerset.
A year prior to the pandemic, Cathy Battle said the diaper bank gave out about 500,000 diapers. That number jumped to 1.3 million diapers in 2020 and has risen to 2 million diapers this year.
- IF YOU WANT TO HELP: For more information or to donate, visit www.wpadiaperbank.org or call 412-373-3074 or 724-691-3031.
“Diapers have gone up 14%,” she said. “They’re hard to afford.”
But as the cost of diapers rose, the pandemic made fundraising to supply them more difficult, she said.
Thankfully, said Cathy Battle, many stepped up to donate them, and this year, they were able to hold their biggest fundraiser — Bingo for Babies.
Still, diapers go fast, she said.
“We try to collect as many diapers as possible,” Cathy Battle said. “We’re always in need of diapers and funding to help support this cause.”
To help, the public can donate or volunteer to help package diapers for distribution. The organization is always looking for new drop-off sites for donations and partner agencies to distribute them, she said.
In Fayette County, the East End United Community Center, 150 Coolspring St., Uniontown is a partner agency. South Hills Interfaith Movement, 5301 Park Ave., Bethel Park is also a partner agency.
“We are the only diaper bank in Western Pennsylvania,” Cathy Battle said. “We need community help support us so we can support the families because we are it for the whole area.”
Mark Hofmann is a reporter for the Uniontown Herald-Standard. Readers may email him at [email protected]. Helping the Helpers is a cooperative effort between the Uniontown Herald-Standard and the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.
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