Sharing hope, one bundle at a time
Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church partners with Bundles of Hope to meet local need for diapers
by Jeana Durst, content director, JBMC Media
photos courtesy of Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank and Mt. Vernon UMC
In times of crisis, churches often are the ones who help those who are struggling the most in our communities. Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church in Gardendale is one such example of this kind of faith in action. “Gardendale Mount Vernon UMC is honored to partner with Bundles Of Hope; we support this ministry financially plus we are a distributing partner of diapers to foster families in the north Jefferson area,” says Jim Jeffreys Director of Missions and Outreach.
Kelly Norris, a church member and marketing manager for the popular Kingdom Kids Consignment Sale, spoke with us about how their congregation is supporting the Bundles of Hope ministry. “It is such a critical time right now,” Norris says. At the beginning of the pandemic, there were several people in the community reaching out who aren’t regular participants of the local diaper banks, and they couldn’t even find diapers. Now, Bundles of Hope Diaper Bank is getting inundated with requests for aid from the community. They are providing diapers and wipes to 2,000 babies a month, and with the loss of jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, the need has increased by 100 percent. Lindsay Gray, executive director of Bundles of Hope, explains, “Families are in need of diapers now more than ever. With families out of work, children not in childcare, parents are desperately searching for how they are going to provide essentials for their little ones.”
Norris met Gray when Gardendale Mt. Vernon was just beginning to partner with this ministry. In September of 2019, their church participated in the city-wide 5th Annual Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive. Fast forward to today, and the need is even more dire. Gray explains that with many churches closed, diaper drives have been cancelled. So at this point, so they are asking people to donate directly to their website. As the preferred regional partner of the National Diaper Bank Network, Bundles of Hope is able to purchase in bulk directly from manufacturers. The cost is only $10 per month to sponsor a baby. “Shelby Haygood, our Bundles coordinator is working very hard staying in touch with families during this pandemic to make sure keeping their babies dry is not a worry,” Jeffreys says.
To understand the impact of their work, consider that in a more normal economy, diaper need impacts one in three local families. Bundles of Hope partners with 45 local organizations and ministries to move diapers into the hands and “onto the bottoms” of those that need them most. Families they serve include, foster families, families with special needs children, low-income families, single parents, and grandparents raising babies. Consider supporting Bundles of Hope’s mission and help provide a little hope—one bundle at a time.