United Way Launches Diaper Bank Volunteer Space
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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

United Way Launches Diaper Bank Volunteer Space

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Diaper Bank Ribbon Cutting

September 29, 2022

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County officially launched our Diaper Bank volunteer space at the Johnson Controls Volunteer Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 28.

Diapers are just one of the first, and most basic, needs that each child has.

Access to a sufficient supply of diapers is essential for the health of infants and toddlers, and it helps build strong foundations for all children and families. Unfortunately, too many families do not have the resources to adequately provide for this basic need.

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is a proud member of the National Diaper Bank Network. This network connects 200+ community-based diaper banks that collect and distribute free diapers to families. We are dedicated to this initiative through our Diaper Bank, which collects diapers and wipes for families through nonprofits located in Milwaukee, Waukesha, and southern Ozaukee and Washington counties. 

We furthered this commitment with the official launch and ribbon cutting of our Diaper Bank volunteer space at the Johnson Controls Volunteer Center. The road to this launch was exciting and humbling. As we moved toward formalizing our own United Way Diaper Bank, we received guidance, support, and insight from Renae Verstegen, the Diaper Bank Coordinator at United Way Fox Cities.

Johnson Controls VolunteersOn September 28, during National Diaper Need Awareness Week, we celebrated the impact of the Diaper Bank this past year and announced how community members can volunteer to support this initiative. The Johnson Controls volunteers were all smiles and busy packing diapers as the room filled with supporters of the new volunteer space. Among the diapers and wipes were children’s books donated by The Penworthy Company to accompany diaper packages.

Speakers included Jayne Thoma, Vice President of Volunteer Engagement at United Way; David Crowley, Milwaukee County Executive; and George Oliver, Chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls. 

As a father himself, County Executive Crowley chuckled, “I have three girls. I know how many diapers they go through!” He stressed that a strong community starts with strong families. But one in three families struggle to provide enough diapers to keep a baby or toddler clean, dry, and healthy. Infants require up to 12 diapers per day, at a cost of $70 to $80 per month, per baby. 

Since opening the Diaper Bank in May of 2021, United Way has: 

  • distributed 279,895 baby diapers
  • served 39 agencies
  • served 4,208 families
  • served 4,639 children

“What a tremendous effort,” County Executive Crowley remarked on the stats, “That’s a Herculean effort.”

United Way partners with key nonprofits in our community to help get diapers into the hands of individuals and families in need. These nonprofits are called Diaper Hubs, and some – like Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, Silver Spring Neighborhood Representatives From Diaper HubsCenter, and the FOOD Pantry serving Waukesha County – were able to join us at the event. 

George Oliver noted the connection Johnson Controls has to the Diaper Bank space, “It really feels like home to us. The Johnson Controls Volunteer Center will be a key location for volunteers to come together to support local families through the Diaper Bank.”

He laughed, “I have grandchildren. I’ll be babysitting two this weekend and changing a lot of diapers!”

Turning back to the event, he continued, “When I look at these diapers, and the project in front of me, it’s my grandchildren I’ll be thinking of. As a community, we need to think of all children – from all neighborhoods -- as our children (or our grandchildren). As a community, we need to be committed to making sure that every child has an opportunity to grow up healthy; to get a good education; to live in a world with clean water and air. 

We may never meet the babies who will benefit from our work today, but as we pack these diapers, we do so with a promise to do our best for all children by never forgetting our profound responsibility to give back to our community.”

Johnson Controls volunteers beamed with a sense of pride during the event. “With our volunteer activity today, we’ll stop being Johnson Controls engineers for a moment,” George Oliver reflected. “We’ll stop being accountants or project managers or marketing professionals. In a moment, we’ll pack diapers for our community.” By the event’s end, Johnson Controls volunteers had repacked 15,725 diapers for distribution through the hub networks.

We look forward to the future of our Diaper Bank volunteer space and ensuring that all infants and toddlers have access to clean diapers and other basic necessities required for them to thrive and reach their full potential. We invite you to Live United, and to invite others to volunteer and Live United as well. 

Johnson Controls Volunteers

See even more photos of the ribbon cutting event here.

Pictured from top-to-bottom: Johnson Control volunteers busy packing diapers; representatives from the FOOD Pantry serving Waukesha County, Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers; Johnson Control volunteers.


Interested in supporting United Way’s Diaper Bank? Donate, volunteer, or host your own diaper packing event by clicking here.


For more updates on our Diaper Bank and other United Way initiatives, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIN.

United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County wants to also recognize the amazing work of Milwaukee Diaper Mission, for their efforts providing a reliable source of free diapers & period supplies.

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