Category Archives: Uncategorized

Staff Spotlight: Gretchen Swann

Gretchen’s enthusiasm and positivity towards life in general is infectious, and it’s part of what makes her such a wonderful fundraising director for Sweet Cheeks. She’s working with the community to organize amazing events and get our name out there so the donations keep rolling in. We are so thankful to have her love of event planning and parties as she takes on such a huge part of our organization!

img_0011

Day Job: Marketing Program Manager at Paycor in Norwood

Sweet Cheeks Role: Fundraising Director

Why are you excited to be part of the Sweet Cheeks team? I love helping others….especially those that are the most vulnerable – which to me, are babies and animals. I’ve done some volunteer work with animals, but never had the opportunity to get involved with helping children. Diaper need was an issue I had never even really realized WAS an issue….but once I did, I wanted to do whatever I could to help.

Tell us about your kid(s): I have a VERY active 3-year old named Charlotte. My husband, Jeff, and I came up with the name for two reasons – we love the city, and we love Sex and the City.

Which part of Sweet Cheeks’ current strategic plan are you most excited to work on? I am so exited for our first annual signature event (the Sweet Cheeks Diaper Dash) that will be happening this fall!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I would love to visit England – I have always been slightly obsessed with the idea of the royal family!

What are you reading right now? I’m getting ready to start Saving Grace by Jane Green – I just finished Nicholas Sparks’ most recent novel (See Me). Believe it or not, I was an English major in college – I think that is why I love “chick lit” so much, I’m still a little burnt out on the good stuff!

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? Read more. Even my chick lit can take me a month or two to get through!

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate? “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Day! Life is what you make it, so why not make it a happy one?

Staff Spotlight: Andrea Meyer

Andrea is my right-hand woman. From help filling out our 501c3 paperwork to brainstorming and creating documents to teaching us all the rules and regulations that go along with nonprofits, Andrea has a knowledge base from years in the nonprofit world that we tap into daily. She is an integral part of the strategic planning for Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank and is amazing at the long-term planning that will help us quickly grow.

IMG_1644

Day Job: Content Developer with Cengage Learning

Sweet Cheeks Role: Development Director

Why are you excited to be part of the Sweet Cheeks team?  I am looking forward to helping children in my city that otherwise would not have it.  To know that I am bettering the lives of children and their families by helping supply clean diapers to them.  It gives me a warm heart knowing that I am bringing smiles to so many people.

Tell us about your kid(s): I have a 2 year old son, who is a bundle of energy.  He loves to talk to everyone, read books and explore the outdoors.  He has brought new meaning to my life, and I can see the love he has to give and I hope that he will continue to have that as he grows up.

Which part of Sweet Cheeks’ current strategic plan are you most excited to work on? I am excited to find ways to connect Sweet Cheeks with the community, and see how those connections can grow the diaper bank.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I would go to the Galapagos Islands.  My brother-in-law went and said it is like something out of dreams, and I want to experience that.  The solitude of nature and the general beauty of life in its truest form.

What are you reading right now? Nothing.  I am in search of a good book to start!

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? I would spend it with my husband.  We are both so busy and it would be nice to just have that one hour to ourselves.

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate? It would celebrate my love of philanthropic involvement.  Everyone would spend the day helping with what they hold near and dear to their hearts.

Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank Newsletter

We’re excited to be able to offer an online, monthly newsletter to our supporters. This newsletter will arrive at least once a month (sometimes more if there’s a super exciting update to share) to your inbox and will include lots of information about our organization such as:

  • How many diapers went out the door in the previous month
  • How many children we served in the previous month
  • Spotlights on partner agencies
  • Spotlights on sponsors
  • Volunteer features
  • Spotlights on diaper drives
  • Important updates about Sweet Cheeks and our growth
  • Upcoming events you can attend
  • Specific needs we have at the moment

I mean it’s really a no-brainer: if you want to be up-to-date with all the latest Sweet Cheeks info and learn all the ways your donations are making a HUGE difference, sign up today!

How, you ask? Find the “Subscribe” box at the bottom of each page of our website:

newsletter subscribe

We Need Diaper Drop-Off Locations

Hi friends–we need your help! We have people all over Cincinnati who want to donate diapers to us, and we want to make that as easy as possible.

The problem? My house isn’t exactly convenient to everyone.
The solution? Drop-off locations around the city.

How Does This Work?
It’s easy! We are looking for businesses, libraries, stores, daycares, play cafes, etc. all over the Greater Cincinnati area that would be willing to display one of our diaper drop-off bins (pictured below) at their location. People will drop off their open or new packages of diapers at a location that is convenient to them.

When Will You Get The Diapers?
We’ll pick up the diapers whenever you need us to, or whenever we’re ready to wrap diapers for the month—whichever comes first.

How Will People Know To Bring Them to Me?
We’ll post your location’s name (and a link to your website) on our website.

What Else Would I Need to Do? 
The only thing we ask is that you have the bin in a location that you are able to verify is secure–we want to make sure every diaper that is donated is getting to the families who need them.

Ready To Get Started?
We’re happy to have you as part of the team. Contact Amy Boldt ([email protected]) to get set up with a drop-off bin!

Lovely ladies at Bucketheads with a donation bin
The lovely ladies at Bucketheads with a happy hour diaper donation bin. Bins are white, discrete and compact!

That’s a Wrap!

A few weekends ago we had a team of wonderful folks come volunteer to wrap diapers for Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. It’s really a pretty simple process–one person counts out 25 diapers of the same size, another person wraps them with saran wrap and the appropriate label. In about 2-1/2 hours our small team knocked out over 2,000 diapers that were wrapped into 80+ bundles. These sweet little bundles are going straight out into the community and onto the bottoms of babies in our city who need them. Does this look like fun? It is! And we’d love to have you help wrap diapers with us. Fill out a volunteer application here and check the online volunteer portal often to see if dates are available to sign up and help. We’ll have a more regular wrapping schedule set up soon! For more information about volunteer opportunities, visit our Volunteer Page.

IMG_0769
Amy and Brad counting and recounting stacks of diapers to make sure the bundles of 25 have the correct number of diapers.
Claire, Brad, and Libby wrapping a seemingly endless supply of newborn diapers.
Claire, Brad, and Libby wrapping a seemingly endless supply of newborn diapers. The great thing? Until we have a warehouse space, the kids are welcome!
Rebecca and Amy wrapping bundles. If there was any question we're working out of my basement right now--there's my washer and dryer!
Rebecca and Amy wrapping bundles. If there was any question we’re working out of my basement right now–there’s my washer and dryer!
BAM! Look at all those beautiful bundles ready for babies. Nice work team!
BAM! Look at all those beautiful bundles ready for babies. Nice work team!

Staff Spotlight: Mary Gaertner

This week we’re learning about our nonprofit consultant extraordinaire, Mary Gaertner. Mary has years of nonprofit experience and regularly gives Megan mini crash courses on exciting topics like board of directors, budgets, job titles, and fundraising. Her general love for the nonprofit community and wealth of information has been so critical to Sweet Cheeks’ early successes!

833A0670

Day Job: Executive Director, Girls on the Run Greater Cincinnati

Sweet Cheeks Role: Nonprofit Consultant

Why are you excited to be part of the Sweet Cheeks team?  I had no idea about diaper need until Megan introduced me to this idea. Something that I take for granted as a fundamental need is a huge opportunity area for Greater Cincinnati. In my day job, I work with families all over the region who have diverse backgrounds and experiences and I love being able to help them in any way possible. As a new mom myself, I can’t imagine being in a position requiring me to decide between giving my child a clean diaper or a meal – I hope we can alleviate this burden and give local families a helping hand.

Tell us about your kid(s): My daughter, Nora Elizabeth, was 7 months on February 9. She is the light of our family and is so sweet, funny, and strong. Her personality has really started to come through the past few months and I just love watching her discover the world. I hope that my husband and I are raising her to be a strong, independent woman who has a brave vision for her future!

Which part of Sweet Cheeks’ current strategic plan are you most excited to work on? I’m passionate about contributing to the foundational success of the organization. My non-profit experience has allowed me to provide a resource on board development and structural sustainability. Sweet Cheeks is already light years ahead as a young non-profit and I think we are setting ourselves up for success!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Right now, a beach and a book sound like the best vacation! But I have always wanted to do a trip to Northern California, visiting San Francisco, Big Sur, and Napa Valley.

What are you reading right now? I just started “Left Neglected” for my book club. I also love a good memoir – that’s dominated most of my reading lately.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? I’d love to say something really exciting but I would probably sleep! I get up pretty early to exercise before my daughter wakes up and before work most days…so an extra hour of sleep would be fantastic.

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate? Brunch Day. You have to celebrate by brunching for at least 2 hours with your girlfriends! Post-brunch nap optional (but recommended).

Staff Spotlight: Mike Schell

Each week we’re going to be spotlighting one Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank staff member. Trust me–diapers would not be going out the door without the dedicated, passionate people who are lending their time and expertise to push Sweet Cheeks forward. To say I’m grateful for each of these folks would be an understatement. We’re beginning this series learning a little more about Mike Schell–our website wizard, marketing guru, and Megan’s general therapist throughout this crazy process of starting a nonprofit.

Mike and August
Mike and August

Day Job: Product Manager at Scot Laboratories

Sweet Cheeks Role: Marketing Director

Why are you excited to be part of the Sweet Cheeks team?  I’m excited to be a part of the Sweet Cheeks team because after having our first child, I realized how important it is to parents and children alike to keep babies clean, healthy and comfortable. It is a basic need every single person requires at the beginning stages of life and is not always available to some struggling families. If I can be part of this team to help alleviate the financial burden parents face and to prevent any child from suffering then it makes it all worth while.

Tell us about your kid(s): My wife and I have a one year old named August. He is so much fun and I love watching him grow, learn and develop. I love to play guitar for him and teach him about music.

Which part of Sweet Cheeks’ current strategic plan are you most excited to work on? I’m excited to design and manage a website that facilitates the agency and child sign-up process in order to receive diapers.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I would love to travel to Thailand because it is incredibly beautiful and I love Thai food.

What are you reading right now? Ratio by Michael Ruhlman.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? Practice guitar.

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate? Mike Schell Day would celebrate live music, Jack Bauer, good food, my fantasy football domination, craft beer, all things nerdy, and naturally… the Simpsons.

Diapers: Cloth vs. Disposable

Why don’t we distribute cloth diapers? It’s a question we’re asked often. I mean think about it: every disposable diaper that has ever been used is still sitting in a landfill–where it will stay for the next 400+ years. And if that’s not crazy enough, the average cost of $100 a month for disposable diapers (per kid!) should have folks flocking to cloth diapers. We have current and former passionate cloth-diapering parents at Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, but there are some pretty important reasons why our focus for now is on disposables:

  • Cloth diapers save money in the long run, but they require an initial investment of money that many low-income families can’t afford.
  • To clean cloth diapers, families must hire a diaper service or have access to reliable laundry facilities.
  • Most laundromats don’t allow cloth diapers to be washed in their machines for sanitary reasons.
  • Most daycare facilities still only accept disposable diapers.

Does this mean we’ll never have the option for families to begin cloth diapering with a starter stash from Sweet Cheeks? Not at all! There are definitely low-income families in our community who have the right resources and desire to make cloth diapers work for them. But until we have the disposable diaper thing down to a science, any cloth diaper programs will be in the future.

Has your family recently switched your kiddos to cloth diapers? Congratulations! Consider dropping off any leftover disposables you have to Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank (contact [email protected] to coordinate). We have lots of babies who would LOVE those diapers!

Babies Need YOU!

copyright Brittany Brown Photography
copyright Brittany Brown Photography

Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank is asked every day what we need help with. Generous people want to give their time to make sure we’re getting diapers on babies in Cincinnati. Because of the outpouring of support, we’re very excited to share Volgistics with all of you!

There are now three easy steps to getting plugged in with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank:

#1: Click this link and fill out an online volunteer profile.
#2: Once you’ve filled out the profile and your application has been accepted, a temporary password will be emailed to you. The password can be used to sign into VicNet, the online volunteer information center that will allow you to have full control over when you volunteer at Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank.
#3: When you have your temporary password, log in to VicNet by clicking this link: Volunteer Information Center.

VicNet allows volunteers to:

  • Check or maintain information such as your address, phone numbers, and email address.
  • Check and print your schedule, sign-up for schedule openings, and alert the volunteer manager to times you cannot serve as scheduled.
  • Keep track of your community service hours, and view and print your past service information.
  • Receive messages, like last minute opportunities or cancellations due to weather.

Basically, you have complete control over your volunteer efforts at Sweet Cheeks! If you know you want to spend some time counting inventory or wrapping and sorting diapers for distribution, go ahead and fill out an application. As soon as we need help we’ll send a message to all active volunteers to let you know what’s coming up. If you’re a student completing service hours for a school or club, keeping track of your volunteer work has never been easier.

We can’t wait to work side-by-side with you in 2016 to get diapers into our community and are looking forward to receiving your volunteer applications!

HappyBottoms and Sweet Cheeks

HB Logo

You may have noticed things got pretty quiet around Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank in mid-November last year. The good news is that there was a very good reason for it: our Executive Director, Megan, took a whirlwind 36-hour trip to Kansas City to meet with the wonderful folks at HappyBottoms diaper bank. (Are you noticing a trend with the fun names yet?) HappyBottoms is an incredibly successful diaper bank that distributes over 100,000 diapers a month and has seen rapid growth over the past four years.

When Megan was researching and starting Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank she stumbled upon HappyBottoms’ website and immediately realized that they were special. She sent them a message and within minutes had the contact info for their executive director, Liz, who was just transitioning out of the ED role and onto the board of directors.

IMG_0196
Megan and Liz

To say that HappyBottoms and its staff have been instrumental in the successful launch of Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank would be an understatement. From sharing documents and processes and encouragement to letting Megan hole up in their conference room for a day and a half learning everything possible about the organization, Sweet Cheeks owes so much of its early success to these fantastic people.

Cincinnati has over 11,000 children under the age of 5 experiencing some degree of diaper need, which gives the Sweet Cheeks team a huge sense of urgency. Because of this we decided early on that we weren’t going to try and reinvent the wheel. We have some wonderful mentors and agencies who have been incredibly successful and we’re very thankful to be able to follow in their footsteps and soak up all their tips on what works and what doesn’t in the baby diapering world. We’re excited to keep on growing with a lot of help from our friends!

IMG_0195
The HappyBottoms Staff!