2015 Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Community Impact Award Winner
The Junior League of Boca Raton
The Junior League of Boca Raton wins this year’s Award for Community Impact. A few years ago, the League was moved by the finding that one in three families nationally are unable to provide diapers for their children and that more than two hundred thousand families living in their very own community needed them on a regular basis.
The League formed a task force that found that a family needs nearly a thousand dollars annually to cover the cost of diapers, or four percent of poverty threshold income. To meet this need they founded the Boca Raton Diaper Bank, currently the only provider of its kind in South Palm Beach County. Run by a committee that vets its 21 partner agencies for screening families, handles logistics and arranges in-kind storage, it ensures that low-income families in South Palm Beach and North Broward Counties receive 50 diapers per child per month.
The League has built awareness of the challenges faced by under-privileged families by persuading Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel to declare a Diaper Awareness Day and securing recognition from Florida Governor Rick Scott. In addition, the League has advocated for the inclusion of diapers in public policy’s definition of “basic human needs.”
Since its founding in 2011, the award-winning Bank has experienced significant growth. To date, some 600,000 diapers have been provided, and in August 2014, the bank made its largest monthly distribution to date, supplying 14 agencies with more than forty-thousand diapers.