APPLETON, Wis. — One by one, bags of repacked diapers made their way to Wendy Krueger as she worked at the newly opened United Way Fox Cities Hub.
What You Need To Know
- United Way Fox Cities officially opened the Hub on Wednesday
- The building is home to the Kimberly-Clark Diaper Bank
- The Hub supports volunteers through hands-on activities that help the community
With a few quick folds of a plastic bag, Kreuger moved the packages a little closer to the end of the repacking line.
“These diapers will be distributed here in our community through different organizations that know where the need is,” said Krueger, executive director of Be Well Fox Valley. “We’re helping young families and kids get off to a good start.”
The new Fox Cities Hub houses the Kimberly-Clark Diaper Bank. It officially opened Wednesday inside a VPI Warehouse in Appleton, which provides room for repacking operations.
It’s also designed to give other community groups space to pack different products and collections designated to help the community.
Krueger said the work that’s happening in the Hub — like the diaper bank — will make a difference.
“People are struggling today with basic needs and diapers are critical for health. We’re closing that gap,” she said. “We’re providing something that is important to help kids get off to a good start.”
The need for diapers has taken off since the pandemic and across the past year as inflation has driven up the cost of many necessities, said Joanne Samuel Goldblum, CEO of the National Diaper Bank Network.
“With COVID continuing and such inflation, the numbers continue to be very, very high,” she said. “On average, diaper banks increased their distribution by about 86% from 2019 to 2020 and those numbers have stayed that high.”
The Hub came to fruition through the work of several community-based businesses and partnerships, including VPI, Kimberly-Clark, Miron Construction and The Boldt Company.
“The way the community came together to build it is really, really impressive,” said Goldblum. “You don’t see this everywhere.”
The Hub is expected to serve more than just the diaper bank, allowing other groups the space for their drives and other community-focused projects.
“It’s new and shiny and we’re creating opportunities for the community,” Krueger said. “It feels good.”