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SMC Diaper Drive benefits charity

Tabitha Ricketts | Friday, September 16, 2011

The Saint Mary’s Office of Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) is encouraging students to add an unconventional item to their shopping lists — diapers.

The OCSE is hosting a two-week diaper drive on campus to benefit the Diaper Bank of Michiana.

The diaper bank provides diapers to low-income families with young children, the disabled and the elderly through a distribution network of nonprofit organizations, according to the Diaper Bank of Michiana’s website.

Carolyn Call, director of the OCSE, said the need for diapers in the Michiana area is ongoing and demand is high.

“We’ll make a dent in the need, but not for long,” Call said.

Saint Mary’s senior Angela Rossi said she formulated the idea for a drive after her home-based student ministry group challenged her to collect a thousand diapers.

Call said she is pleased to help Rossi with her challenge.

“I learned about the diaper bank last year and about the need for diapers throughout the area,” Call said. “I hadn’t yet figured out how we could best assist them. When [Rossi] came to me with the idea for a diaper drive I knew we could be involved.”

So far, 20 packs of diapers have been donated. The overall goal of the drive is to reach 100.

Though they have not reached their goal yet, Rossi is pleased with the turnout to-date.

“We’d be happy with 10 packages, really,” she said. “Doing a little bit can make a difference.”

She said she appreciates the efforts of those who have donated so far, and encourages more students to help.

“Your average package of diapers [costs] less than $10,” Rossi said. “It’s like giving up going out to one movie … If you make that sacrifice, I feel it is worth it.”

Call said she encourages students to work in groups to buy the diapers.

“Even if a group goes in together and buys a single package, that would be great,” Call said. “Diapers can be expensive, so if students can work as teams, it will be more effective.”

However, Call said she realizes that more help will be needed to reach a higher number of donations.

“Truth be told, we need to do more drives and we need other institutions and businesses in Michiana to join us.”

Rossi said any donation would make a difference.

“At the end of the day you’re helping a helpless child who may otherwise not receive supplies that they need,” Rossi said. “It is just one small sacrifice, and a little bit can go a long way.”

The Diaper Drive will run through Sept. 20. Collection boxes are located in each of the Saint Mary’s residence halls and in the mailrooms of Spes Unica, Madeleva and Havican Hall.