By David Fleet
Some Genesee County children will be a little happier and drier thanks to the efforts of Reid and Oaktree elementary students.
Reid and Oaktree elementary joined 28 area schools and participated in the Dimes for Diapers program during April. The event, which started about 10 years ago and is coordinated by ABC-12 Flint and ELGA Credit Union, challenges students to collect change to purchase diapers for area needy. The three top schools in collection will be recognized by ABC-12 and for Goodrich School will be in The Citizen newspaper. The diapers will be distributed through the Flint Diaper Bank later this year.
At the end of April a total of $3,420 was collected from Reid along with $936 from Oaktree.
“One dollar can buy eight diapers, enough for one day,” said Cheryl Sclater, public relations manager of ELGA Credit Union, with a branch office 8125 State St., Goodrich. “The need is great considering the county has about 4,500 children age three and under living below the poverty level that need help.”
On May 31 all ELGA Credit Unions, including the Goodrich branch will collect funds for the diaper drive.
“The diaper drive stronger every year,” said Sclater. “The best philanthropists are our children and these schools have embraced the Dimes for Diapers. These students are our future.”
Every penny collected goes through the Dimes for Diapers to the Flint Diaper Bank.
“I never realized the need, but most Americans who have not faced this struggle personally are unaware the problem exists,” said Sclater. “Families unable to afford diapers are forced to choose from a variety of undesirable alternatives that can severely impact the health and well-being of their child. Many families report cutting back on basics such as food, utilities or child care in order to purchase diapers.”
Federal benefits such as Bridge cards for food or special supplemental programs like WIC cannot be used for diapers.
Beth Millerschin, principal at Reid Elementary School, said the Dimes for Diapers project was part of the leadership journey and community service for students.
“The students made posters, videos, shared about the Dimes for Diapers at meetings,” she said. “There was a lemonade stand, one student collected at his dad’s bowling night and some returned pop cans. We are so proud our students and families for supporting the Genesee County community. The results were outstanding—they are giving back to the community—it’s a big part of the Leader in Me.”
By David Fleet