Clean diapers – or food for your family? Although it may seem unbelievable, many Indiana parents must make this choice. One local mother is helping to eradicate this situation, however. Rachael Suskovich, founder, and CEO of the Indiana Diaper Bank, has made it her mission to provide diapering essentials to local families in need. Indy’s Child spoke with her about how her nonprofit began and its impact on our community.
What is the Indiana Diaper Bank?
This is essentially a food bank. We collect diaper donations and distribute them throughout our community. By providing diapers through Indiana Diaper Bank, we fulfill a basic need for infants. When those basic needs are met, parents can focus their attention on loving and nurturing their child.
When did your organization begin?
It was founded in November 2017. I had given birth to my second daughter and took an extended maternity leave and dove deep into the Indiana Diaper Bank. In January 2018 we received our first donation. We have been overwhelmed with generosity since! Buy Buy Baby was a pivotal partnership in our start-up. They allowed us into their Indianapolis stores for a diaper drive and continue to have drop off locations for diaper donations. They offer us steep discounts on diaper purchases, so we can stretch donated dollars to make a larger impact.
What inspired you to take this mission on?
I started researching and found out there was not a diaper bank in Indianapolis. It was recommended I contact pregnancy resource centers, but they didn’t have diapers and said they are asked all the time. I found an outstanding need and thought every baby deserves a clean diaper, so I took that pledge to do something.
How do parents receive assistance?
We partner with social service organizations focusing on innovative and proven strategies helping Indiana citizens in the most need. We have an extensive wait list and are working on getting a larger facility. We keep our website updated with new partnerships. If someone is interested in diapers, check out the website and contact those agencies. See if you quality for one of the unique programs the agencies have available.
Another way is emailing us through our website if you don’t have enough diapers to send your child to daycare or your daycare is sending you away. Give us your daycare’s name and we will reach out to them.
What areas do you serve?
We distribute as far north as Muncie, as far south as Seymour, as far west as Plainfield and as far east as Connersville. However, we keep our emphasis on Marion County through our partner agencies. For example, we partner with Children’s Bureau. They are a member of our diaper distribution network. So, we gather diapers, we fill their orders and they distribute them. Those diapers are used in their outreach programs, shelters, foster families – all needs fitting the unique programs.
Do you accept donations?
Yes. We accept wipes, receiving blankets as well as open and closed diaper packages, used and new cloth diapers. Donate anything you feel appropriate. What kind of impact does your organization have on the community?
When supporting Indiana Diaper Bank, you support other social service organizations, too. Whenever these organizations can offer diapers, their engagement levels go way up. A parent may be more likely to meet with a case worker knowing they get a month’s diaper supply from that session. The family receives diapers, but they also receive other support they need.
Want to learn more about the Indiana Diaper Bank? Call 317-983-4009 or visit their website at www.indianadiaperbank.org.