Donations needed

Alleged theft causes Diaper Fund to change policies

By Kim Lincoln | May 12, 2017
Photo by: Kim Lincoln After six packages of diapers and two packages of wipes were taken off the porch at 219 Meadow St. in Rockport, The Diaper Fund is now changing its pickup policy.

Rockport — After 150 diapers and more than 400 wipes were taken off The Diaper Fund's porch on Meadow Street May 8, the organization has changed its pickup policy.

The Diaper Fund is a Rockport-based organization that distributes free diapers — both disposable and cloth — as well as wipes to local families in Knox, Waldo and northern Lincoln counties.

Since the nonprofit only has limited office hours, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the group began last year leaving diapers marked with the recipient's name on the porch so the client could come at a time that was convenient for them.

"We've never had an issue. Never," said Director Rachel Smolenski.

That is, until May 9, when the three clients who were to receive diapers and wipes contacted Smolenski to tell her the products were not on the porch.

In total, six packages of diapers and two large packages of wipes were taken, causing the Diaper Fund to be unable to fulfill those families' needs for the week.

"When they called to let me know, I couldn't replenish," Smolenski said. "It doesn't make me feel good to say 'That's all I can do, I'm sorry.'"

Smolenski said the Diaper Fund only stocks enough diapers and wipes to get through each week. She said the amount taken could diaper six children for at least four or five days.

Since posting about the disappearance on the organization's social media pages and sending emails to board members, she said, a few folks have come forward to donate.

Now the board is looking into ways to fulfill the orders of those who cannot get to the office during the daytime hours. She said they are considering staying open one evening a week, but said it's difficult, because all the board members have other commitments.

For more information about The Diaper Fund or how to donate, contact Smolenski at 230-8459 or by email at rachel@arttherapymlk.com.

Courier Publications Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at klincoln@villagesoup.com.

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