[Originally published April 24, 2020]
Last week, the Maker’s Place received a phone call from Carlos, a father of three. In the same week that Carlos lost his job due to COVID-19, his wife also had a baby. He was desperately looking for diapers.
One of our volunteers went above and beyond to connect with Carlos, and made sure that his family received not only diapers in the right size, but also newborn baby clothes and other items for the family. Across language barriers and at least six feet of physical distance, we bridged the gap in order to help.
That’s love in the time of coronavirus.
In the last month, the Maker’s Place “Diaper Depot” has seen a tremendous increase in demand for diapers, as families face loss of income, supply shortages in stores, and the ripple effects of a health and economic crisis that disproportionately affect people living in poverty.
I’m incredibly proud of how our team has responded. In just a few weeks, we’ve turned our delivery model inside out. Rather than gathering everyone together to distribute diapers, we now allow families to make a personalized appointment. We’re distributing diapers through two excellent local partners: Children’s Futures, a local nonprofit, and the Capital Area YMCA. At select YMCA locations, families can not only receive diapers, but also meals for their children. Our goal is to minimize the risk of infection for member families and volunteers, and maximize the resources families receive when they must leave their homes.
In the past two weeks, we’ve distributed 5400+ diapers. That’s a 250% increase from our normal numbers. To date, we’ve helped some 175 families make appointments to receive diapers and other basic items. Nearly 50% of these families are coming to us for the first time.
Across New Jersey and around the world, United Methodists and people of good will are finding new ways to show love in the time of coronavirus. It speaks to the fact that we all are connected--as children of God and members of the human family, and as neighbors, near and far. Everywhere you turn, there are many, many stories just like Carlos’. And, if you’re willing to look for it, there are many, many neighbors, reaching out to help.
Thank you for your support of the Maker’s Place, both in spirit and through tangible gifts. We couldn’t do what we do without all of you. In the next few weeks, we’ll be launching a fundraiser to help the Maker’s Place to continue to serve and stay strong in this unprecedented time. Please consider how you might help. We’re also trying out new ways to stay connected with our community, like virtual story time, premiering today. Learn more using the links below!
I’m glad you’re staying connected with us. We’re all in this together. God bless, and all the best,
Pastor Michael Reed
Story Time on Facebook
Tune in for “Story Time with Pastor Michael and Baby Fia” on our Facebook Page. This week, we’re reading "Life Doesn't Frighten Me" by Maya Angelou and "Love the World" by Todd Parr. Join us this week for stories for kids (and their parents)! Click here to see the video!
Maker’s Place Fundraiser
We’re raising $5000 by May 15th. We’ll have more information coming out soon! Want to get in early? Donate to the Maker’s Place at www.makersplace.org/give. Your gifts will help us restock diapers, cover unanticipated expenses, and stay strong in a difficult time.
Looking for diapers for your family? Please visit our website at www.makersplace.org/diapers. There you can join our waiting list, and someone will contact you soon to help you make an appointment. If you’d prefer to call, dial (609) 751-9128.