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Enjoy Every Moment

The nation is on the verge of reopening the economy, and parents are anxiously waiting for the moment when childcare centers are able to reopen as parents return to work.

Mixed feelings and emotions are surfacing for parents. Some mothers have enjoyed spending these days with their kids, homeschooling them, constantly feeding them, and enjoying those special moments to reconnect and bond. On the other hand, some parents have had a continual hustling and bustling of life as an essential worker, and instead of life slowing down, it has actually done the reverse.

Regardless, of what side you fall on, what I have realized in this time of the pandemic is the importance of our loved ones. Each moment that we have with each other should be cherished and appreciated. It’s time for all of us to humble ourselves and let all the petty mellow drama in our lives fade away, and remember what is truly important. The gift of life.

May 2nd is Baby Day!

National Baby Day is tomorrow, and it celebrates just what the title says, “babies!” How can you not love the cute chubby cheeks and listen to the infectious laughter of a happy baby.

According to the actual goal of National Baby Day is “to celebrate the smallest and newest members of our species, and reflect on all the wonders and joys they will face as they grow up.” Babies represent a new beginning and bring a wonderful innocence to the world. National Baby Day is an opportunity to be mindful of this and to treasure every moment of the precious newness of life.

How will you choose to celebrate this day? As a mother of a 2 year old, and expecting another in a few months. I will celebrate by posting one of my favorite photos of Madison, and I hope you join me by remembering those precious moments with your little one.

Staff Spotlight: Morgan

We are so pleased to welcome Morgan as our brand new Community Engagement Coordinator. She joined us just a couple days before the COVID madness began, and has jumped in to be flexible and help with whatever needs to be done. She is in charge of all our volunteer coordination so you’ll be seeing her a lot around the warehouse very soon! She’s also taken over all our social media channels–which is why you may have noticed everything looks so great!! 🙂

Morgan Whaley

Morgan is a wife and mother of three girls and is deeply invested in serving others. She is a woman of God and her faith fuels her passion to serve and love others. Morgan graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Communication degree and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration on social justice.  Morgan’s heart is to advocate for underserved and overlooked communities and she aims to show others what it means to love through her work with Sweet Cheeks. Morgan says, “I am so humbled to be a part of the Sweet Cheeks family. The work that Megan has started is a true blessing to the Cincinnati area. I am excited to use my talents and skills to support such a phenomenal organization and engage people across all industries to show the diaper need in our communities.” Read on for a little Q&A with Morgan!

Why are you excited to be a part of the Sweet Cheeks Team?   
I am excited to be a part of Sweet Cheeks because it is not often you get to see how an organization grows and expands services. I know that Sweet Cheeks will be around for years to come, and I want to be a part of this ground-breaking movement in our community.

Tell us about your kid(s):  I have a 13 year old stepdaughter Saniya, who loves to sing and dance. Madison is 2 and loves to talk and play outside when she can. I am also expecting another girl late July 2020.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?  I would travel back to Kakamega, Kenya. It was there that I took my first mission trip in 2018 and I truly fell in love with the people I met. I was a part of a team that helped build wells for schools and orphanages and seeing a different way of life was humbling and inspiring.

What are you reading right now? 
I am a Bible scholar, and currently studying the women of the Bible, so most of my reading comes from other articles and books that help in my studies.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? 
I would use my extra hour to pamper myself. It is so important to take care of yourself from the inside out. I would definitely do something that takes care of my mind and body. 

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate? 
Any Holiday in my honor would have to celebrate the life of Jesus through acts of service to others. 

The whole Sweet Cheeks staff at our February Mardi Gras Party!

You can reach her at [email protected]

National Volunteer Week 2020

National Volunteer Week means something different this year. Volunteering for your favorite nonprofit or organization is more important now than ever. There have been many nonprofits that have had to close their doors amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Some organizations closed because of finances, while others closed due to the lack of support and involvement from staff and volunteers. According to the latest volunteer data from NonProfit Source, “People aged 35-44 and 45-54 are most likely to volunteer (28.9% and 28% respectively) while 20-24 year olds have the lowest rates (18.4%).” We see here that older generations of our nation’s volunteers are the majority.

Currently, many older volunteers have elected to discontinue their volunteer services, and understandably so, due to being a part of a more vulnerable community for Coronovirus cases.

Volunteering is more important now than ever. It is time for younger generations to take the lead on volunteerism in our communities. Sometimes in the midst of crisis there is beauty that arises beneath the surface. We have seen communities growing stronger, and the rhetoric that surrounds the atmosphere is one of hope and faith in this country’s future.

We celebrate our volunteers not just this week but each day. Everyday people are risking their own health in service to others and their communities. It is an honor and privilege to serve during this time of “war”, and what a blessing it is to see the hearts of people coming forward and coming together to serve those who need us the most.

Thank YOU for changing the bottom line for families in need through your past, present, and future volunteering at Sweet Cheeks!

Staff Spotlight: Program Manager Jean Hodge

It has been an exciting 2018 so far for Sweet Cheeks. We are so happy to introduce you to our new Program Manager, Jean! She will be taking over getting our diapers out the door, communicating and coordinating with our partner agencies, and scheduling our volunteers. Jean brings us a wealth of experience with project, personnel, and financial management. She was most recently at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore building relationships within the community. Read on to learn a little more about Jean!
Jean Hodge Program ManagerName:  Jean Hodge
Day Job: Sweet Cheeks
Sweet Cheeks title:  Program Manager
Why are you excited to be a part of the Sweet Cheeks Team?  Sweet Cheeks is the perfect place for me to help alleviate the pain of childhood poverty in our city!  The need is great and there is much to be done, but I believe that the focused approach of Sweet Cheeks is impactful and provides some relief for families living in poverty.  I am excited to help Sweet Cheeks grow and to serve more people in our community.
Tell us about your kid(s):  My two boys keep me busy and teach me something new every day!  Cooper is a college sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, where he competes on the swim team, studies psychology and philosophy and works at an iconic used bookstore.  Henry is a middle school student who is the most passionate sports enthusiast!  He plays basketball and baseball and he is your go-to guy for any sports news or stats you may need.  He dreams to become a bracketologist to combine his love of sports and math.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Italy.  Food, wine, culture, scenery.
What are you reading right now? The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney.
If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? To read!  So many books on my list!
If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate?  Peace on Earth

Sponsor Spotlight: Paramount Advantage

Today’s sponsor spotlight comes from a health care system that takes a multi-faceted approach to helping improve the lives of low-income families in our region. Paramount Advantage, an affiliate of ProMedica, has created a suite of services designed to help families in need. “We believe our responsibility to our community reaches beyond what you might expect from a health care system,” Paramount says, “We invest in the health of the entire region, working with dedicated community partners to influence policy and to provide preventive medicine, health education, heal​thy food assistance, and financial assistance to those who need it most.”

In addition to providing a care plan of healthcare services that complements programs like WIC and Medicaid that families might already be utilizing, Paramount has taken a special focus on making sure the tiniest members of our community are as healthy as possible. “The most important gift you can give your baby is early and regular pregnancy care,” Paramount said. By creating a pregnancy care reward program to encourage pregnant moms to schedule and attend their prenatal and postpartum doctor’s appointments, they have set up an incredibly important first step to ensuring babies are born healthy. Many families don’t have access to a reliable personal vehicle, and another Paramount program makes sure that families can get to their appointments on time by providing transportation to medical visits.

As parents know, the stress of taking care of a tiny human being doesn’t end after a safe delivery and healthy newborn arrives. Paramount promotes Text4Baby, a free mobile health service for pregnant women and new moms. Paramount explains that “text messages include helpful information on how to have a healthier pregnancy, nutrition, immunizations, and sleep safety.” We are so honored to have an organization that cares so much about healthy families partnering with us to help end diaper need in our community. Thank you for your support!

Sponsor Spotlight: Q102

Q102It’s hard to know where to begin when trying to explain the impact the folks at Q102 have had on Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. We were less than 6 months old when we first met with Mollie Watson and then the rest of the Q team and told them about this crazy thing we started. Their response was one of the most impactful votes of support we’ve received. They said they wanted to help us grow and succeed and get to an incredible place in the future. We thought about what Sweet Cheeks might look like if we were all sitting around that conference table 30 years from now, and let me tell you, that dreaming was something the most ambitious strategic plans are made of. “Our partnership with Sweet Cheeks has been especially rewarding as we have been a supporter from the beginnings of the organization,” Patti Marshall, Q102 Program Director, said. “We are honored to to be a small part of the growth and continued success.”

The Good Vibes RV featuring our adorable Morty!!

Q102 and their audience are generous supporters of organizations in the Tri-State area. “Q102’s audience has such a large percentage of moms,” Marshall explained. “We are a reflection of our audience and what they care about.” And lucky for Sweet Cheeks, that audience is passionate about keeping babies happy, healthy, and clean. Q102 considers it to be “an honor and an obligation to support the community we all live in”, and they have walked the walk so well that they are nationally recognized by the National Association of Broadcasters for their community service.

Diaper Dash, WKRQ, Q102, Mollie Watson
Promoting the 2016 Diaper Dash on Mollie’s show!

Being included with the family-owned Hubbard Interactive community, and specifically Q102, has given us opportunities and connections beyond our wildest dreams. People (including our board chair!), diaper drives, donations, events, publicity, promotions, sponsors and more have come our way because Q102 took a chance on a young organization and believed in our ability to help change the lives of hundreds (some day thousands!) of kids in the community.

Q102, Mollie Watson, Bottoms Up for Babies, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank
Q102 at one of our Bottoms Up for Babies Happy Hours!

We will forever be grateful that Mollie decided to meet with us, agreed to be part of our first Board of Directors, and has spent countless hours wrapping diapers, hosting events for us, promoting us on the air and being one of our most enthusiastic and positive supporters. We are humbled and honored to have you and the Q102 family as part of our Sweet Cheeks family.




Staff Spotlight: Ann Loch

We are grateful to have a grant-writing dream team at Sweet Cheeks. Ann joined Claire on the grant team late last year and has been helping keep us organized and on track and within character count limits ever since. She brings lots of experience with writing multi-million dollar RFPs in the corporate world and we’re happy to have her expertise bringing in more money for clean diapers.

Ann Loch FamilyName: Ann Loch

Day Job: Full-time mommy, part-time front desk associate, part-time freelance project manager

Sweet Cheeks title: Grant Writer

Why are you excited to be a part of the Sweet Cheeks Team? Making a difference to the lives of Cincinnati’s smallest residents is not only exciting, but needed. So often our efforts to help others is haphazard, but with Sweet Cheeks, I know that the efforts of many talented people are coming together to make a true difference. While our daily activities may seem segregated and small, together, we are truly changing lives – and that is very exciting!

Tell us about your kid(s): I have two little monsters who keep my life interesting and give me the best reason to wake up each day. Dominic (2.5 years old) is inquisitive, sweet, and gentle, and Allison (18 months old) is the opposite – a crazy girl at heart, she’s the wild one that keeps us all on our toes!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Anywhere with a beach! Preferably in one of those huts over the clear blue water that serves ice cold beer.

What are you reading right now? I am perpetually re-reading the Harry Potter series when I don’t have time to get into a new novel.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? Reading! I never have enough time to read as much as I’d like.

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate? Manatees, pancakes, and an empathetic ear.

Sponsor Spotlight: Kroger

We’re thrilled to be able to introduce you to our partnership with Kroger, which has been in place since before our first Diaper Dash. As a company that has been named the Most Generous Company in the United States by Forbes Magazine, they recognize the importance of helping the communities where they live, work, and play. Do you remember the giant tower of diapers on the stage at last year’s Dash? Kroger donated over 17,000 of their Comforts for Baby brand diapers in our most-needed sizes and made a huge impact on our young organization.

Q102’s Mollie Watson in front of the Kroger-donated 2016 Diaper Dash diapers!

Patty Leesemann, External Communications Leader for The Kroger Co., explains why SCDB is such a good fit for Kroger’s corporate giving initiatives. “Being a grocery store, it makes sense for us to feed people so our core area of giving is hunger relief,” Leesemann said. “It’s a tough choice for families to choose between putting food on the table or having clean, fresh diapers for little ones. We can lend some support and take that burden from families on making the choice between putting their child in a clean diaper or putting food in their mouth by supporting Sweet Cheeks.” We’re grateful that because of Kroger’s support, more babies in the Greater Cincinnati Area have clean diapers AND full bellies.

KrogerKroger gives more than $5 million in product and funds to the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton communities through their foundation, community giving, Community Rewards and other initiatives. “Kroger has always been a big supporter of the communities we serve and knows that giving back is the right thing to do,” Leesemann said. You can easily link your Kroger Plus Card to benefit Sweet Cheeks by signing in HERE.


Partner Spotlight: CityLink Center

We are so proud to partner with CityLink Center to provide their clients with diapers. CityLink operates with a model where individuals go to one place, get surrounded by one team, and find an integrated, holistic path to break free from poverty and get to a place of self-sustainability and hope. We’re thrilled to be a small part of that model by providing free diapers to their clients who are receiving services like job training, childcare, legal assistance, health and wellness education, financial planning, housing referral and employment assistance all in one place. They recently featured US on their blog and we wanted to share that story here as well:

CityLink’s Brittany Sisson currently manages their diaper distribution program.

“For young families juggling priorities with limited budgets, diapers, while necessary, can be a cumbersome expense. The average family in the U.S. spends upward of $700 per child annually on diapers. CityLink partners with various organizations to provide holistic care and access to services that will support clients reaching their goals and eliminate barriers blocking the path to  self-sufficiency. And yes… for CityLink families with small children, this includes DIAPERS!

Thanks to our partnership with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, the only diaper bank serving the Greater Cincinnati area, clients are provided with size-appropriate diapers in bundles at no cost to them.

Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank partners with social service agencies across the Tri-state to support low-income individuals with diaper needs while raising awareness of the basic health need for diapers. By assisting families during what can be one of the most challenging times in a parent’s life, Sweet Cheeks is working to build a strong community for the future. Over 150,000 diapers were donated to Sweet Cheeks in the past year and these diaper donations are what keeps them going (learn more about donating new diapers to Sweet Cheeks here).

Our clients often express gratitude for Sweet Cheeks Diapers, commenting on the bills they have been able to pay, food and non-food items they have been able to purchase, and money they save because of the diaper resources. Allocating diapers via Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank fills a tremendous gap in means for our clients and their little ones.

In 2016, CityLink distributed 7,360 diapers serving over 80 individuals. Now that’s a “bottom line” to be proud of!”