Around Hannah’s Treasure Chest, Barbara Keelor is known as the “Diaper Diva.”
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The Washington Twp. resident has been volunteering at the nonprofit organization in Centerville for the past year and a half.
“I like the fact that Hannah’s provides items for children. I am a grandmother of eleven, all of whom have been blessed with everything necessary to succeed in life,” said Keelor. “Unfortunately, that is not the case for all the children of our community.”
Approximately eight hours a week, Keelor spends time removing diapers from the original packaging and wrapping them in plastic bundles of 25. The bundles are stored on shelves, readily accessible to those who fill the orders. She keeps track of the sizes that are running low, so people who donate diapers can be alerted as to what is needed.
“When Hannah’s first began, seven to 10 diapers were given to a client, if they were available at all. We now provide 100 diapers per child, with the goal of 300 in the near future,” said Keelor.
Unfortunately, diapers are not recognized as a basic need in government safety-net programs, and cannot be purchased with food stamps. Most child care centers require parents to provide four to six diapers per day.
“It is very satisfying to know that our little bundles of diapers may make it possible for a parent to go to work or school because they have the disposable diapers they need,” said Keelor.
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According to Hannah’s marketing communications coordinator Leslie Marsh, HTC became a member of the National Diaper Bank Network in 2014 to advance public awareness and participate in bulk purchasing programs. By 2016, the nonprofit was distributing an average of 10,004 diapers to low-income families per month; a total of more than 120,000 for the year.
“Barb quickly became interested in our diaper program and the issues of diaper need. She is an expert at bundling diapers for our care packages and is passionate about educating people about this part of our mission,” said Marsh.
Besides volunteering at HTC, Keelor also volunteers and teaches Bible study at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Kettering. She likes to swim regularly and is an avid reader. She likes to garden and keep take care of her two dogs, Lucy and Henry. She said she and her husband, Robert, enjoy spoiling their grandchildren.
HTC was founded in 2001 by Angela Addington when she saw a need for children’s items in Dayton region nonprofits. She and her friends began collecting and distributing children’s items in their spare time. Today, HTC has an 11,200 square-foot facility at 124 Westpark Road in Centerville. The nonprofit provides needed items for nearly 6,000 children per year.
Hannah’s Treasure Chest provides social service agencies in Montgomery, Butler, Greene and Warren counties with children’s clothing, baby equipment, books, toys, hygiene items and other essential items for their clients. Their current top-five priority needs are diapers, sizes newborn, 1 and 4; infant winter clothing, 0-3 months; infant and toddler car seats; warm shoes and boots; and toddler beds.
HTC has maintained the warehouse of children’s items to respond quickly to client requests. When a partner agency identifies a child in need, HTC provides a personalized care package to the agency. The agency then delivers the items to the child.
For more information about volunteering or donating to HTC, call 937-438-5039, go online to hannahstreasure.org or find them on Twitter or Facebook. Families seeking help should contact The United Way, 937-225-3000.
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Contact this contributing writer at PamDillon@woh.rr.com.