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

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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.

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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!

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The HappyBottoms Staff!

Happy New Year!

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Hello friends!

We’re pretty excited to welcome 2016. Last year was incredible, and as we’ve told our generous 2015 donors, the support we received has been humbling and inspiring. To ensure we kick off this year with a solid foundation, we had a major strategic planning meeting in mid-December to map out our major goals and objectives for this year, and more importantly, figure out how we’re going to crush them. Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank has one of the most highly-motivated teams I’ve ever worked with, and the passion each person is bringing to his or her role is contagious.

That enthusiasm is going to allow us to serve hundreds of children, collect and distribute thousands of diapers, host Bottoms up for Babies happy hours, and pull off our first-annual Diaper Dash race downtown this fall. We hope you’re planning on joining us for some fun this year!

If you’ve been following our progress and feel compelled to become more involved with our efforts, we’d love to have you! Be on the lookout for more information this week about how to sign up to volunteer, or send us a message at [email protected] and we’ll get you plugged in to the part of our mission that suits you best.

We’re grateful for your support!

SCDB is a Member of the National Diaper Bank Network

This week’s big news is that Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank is officially a member of the National Diaper Bank Network. The NDBN is leading a national movement to safeguard one of the most basic needs of all babies and their families: access to clean, dry diapers. Fair access to clean diapers improves the physical, mental and economic well-being of babies, families, and communities. National Diaper Bank Network connects and supports the county’s more than 240 community-based diaper banks that collect, store and distribute free diapers to struggling families (now including Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank!!). In 2014, the network distributed nearly 35 million free diapers, including 20 million donated by NDBN founding sponsor Huggies®, to more than 1 million children throughout the country.

We are thrilled to be able to start adding to that 35 million diapers number. The NDBN has so many resources online for how to start a diaper bank–it is absolutely one of the key reasons Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank exists today. The staff is incredibly responsive and supportive, and their Diaper Bank Leaders online group has been a tremendous network of encouragement, ideas and information. We weren’t able to attend their annual conference this year, but can’t wait to make it to next year’s for a few days of learning and socializing with other members of the National Diaper Bank Network .

One of the most exciting aspects of being a member of the NDBN is the ability to purchase diapers at only available through this partnership. This means your tax-deductible financial donations to Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank will go further than ever before! We will always love and welcome your diaper drives in support of Sweet Cheeks, but it’s really exciting to be able to offer those who want to give financially a way to make a HUGE impact on Cincinnati.

We’re a 501c3PO! Wait a minute…

Just kidding. We’re not that cool–we’re ONLY a 501c3. And I honestly don’t even know anything about Star Wars (though apparently enough to understand that joke from a friend), but maybe it’s making you read more about Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank right now, so we’re going with it.

When you start a nonprofit, you have to fill out a TON of paperwork. Just when you think you’re done, there’s one more form to go. But the purpose of all this paperwork is to get the nonprofit designation. A nonprofit is a corporation or an association that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profitmotive. 

When you become a nonprofit there are a ton of benefits for your organization: exemption from corporate income taxes, permission to raise funds through donations and grants, and protection from liability for directors and members. You can even get free web hosting services and special postage rates among other things. When you’re operating a corporation whose revenue is going right back out the door to help others, you are looking for every way possible to preserve your dollars so they can make the biggest impact possible in the community you’re serving. So the bottom line: if you are creating a nonprofit, you want to take the time to get the official designation from the IRS. Our official determination letter arrived 10/22/15–the same day our website went live. It was a pretty exciting moment and one we won’t ever forget.

After getting that designation, the first to-do on a long list of to-dos was to register Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank with GuideStar. GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofits. The GuideStar database contains a profile for every tax-exempt nonprofit registered with the IRS. They invite nonprofits to update their profiles at no cost to the organizations. Updating allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with the millions of people who visit GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations and the more than 120 sites and applications that use GuideStar data. To earn a logo, an organization needs to complete all required fields for that participation level. The GuideStar logos, acknowledged as symbols of transparency in the nonprofit sector, are displayed on all updated participants’ profiles in the GuideStar database.

We know you’ve worked hard for your money. And we want you to feel 100% comfortable entrusting us with it. By providing updated tax returns and independently audited financial statements on public sites such as GuideStar, we’re taking the guesswork out of whether or not Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank is a sound investment for your charitable giving. We want that answer to always be YES!

So take a look at our GuideStar BRONZE profile here and check it often. We’ll be adding more and more information (especially those important financial pieces!) as soon as we have them.

Our First Donation

First diaper donation

While the focus of this weekend for many people is giving away candy and treats, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank was focused on giving away diapers. Our very first donation went to Welcome House in Northern Kentucky. This wonderful organization has been helping to end homelessness in our community since 1982. While they are coordinating a range of services with their clients to help them move into stable housing, diapers are very often one of the resources their littlest clients need the most. For many families, a supply of diapers can be the difference between being able to eat and going hungry, or being able to consistently pay rent versus an eviction notice. Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank’s donation of 2,000 diapers will provide some relief for Welcome House families in crisis. And the really exciting thing is that we provide exactly the size diapers that are needed for each child. Can you imagine having to wear clothes that are several sizes too small every day? We make sure that children have the correct size diapers so that in addition to being dry and healthy, they can be as comfortable as possible too.

Diaper donations like the one we made to Welcome House are possible because of YOUR generosity. Please take a moment to click here and make a tax-deductible donation to Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank today so we can continue to change the bottom line for families in need.

Help Sweet Cheeks Find a Warehouse!

Warehouse

Hi everyone!

We need your help. Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank is on the search to find a warehouse. We have some very exciting potential partnerships to pursue, but until we have a warehouse those opportunities can’t be fully explored. One partnership allows us to purchase diapers for the administrative cost to get them to us. That would mean we could diaper a child for an entire year for $120. That’s AMAZING news friends. The “catch”? The diapers arrive on a 53′ semi truck. Until we have a warehouse with a loading dock, that avenue is closed. A local partnership we want to explore would most likely involve a similar setup in getting the diapers to Sweet Cheeks in large trucks, and until we have the infrastructure in place to receive diapers in mass quantities, we won’t be setting up a meeting to ask for partnership.

So here’s the details on what we’re looking for:

  • Warehouse space
  • Attached office space
  • 1,000 square feet of storage space (which would allow us to store up to 250,000 diapers). If someone has a lead on a smaller space, do let us know, but we intend to grow–quickly!–and would like to keep our moving to a minimum.
  • A loading dock that a 53′ semi is able to use
  • We are absolutely open to sharing warehouse space with another organization.
  • Location needs to be close to downtown Cincinnati.

Remember: we are a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. That means donations to us are tax deductible–even warehouse and office space! There are many reasons why it makes good sense for both individuals and corporations to donate warehouse and office space to nonprofits. Not only do you get to make a positive impact on your community, you have the potential to enjoy a significant tax deduction. The size of the tax deduction is based on the current market value of your property. So that warehouse space you bought in 1950 for $50,000 that is currently valued at $250,000 will give you a tax deduction of $250,000. Everyone wins!

Share this need with everyone you know. We are 100% confident that the perfect warehouse space exists for Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank–we just haven’t found the perfect connection to it yet. Are you that connection? Do you know someone who might be? Email us at [email protected]. Thanks for your support!

Sweet Cheeks Wins its First Grant

October 18th was a turning point for the launch of Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. Thanks to Cincy Sundaes, we won a $1,000 grant to help make our organization a reality. We are using the funds to pay the (hefty) 501c3 filing fee, secure a P.O. Box for a year, and purchase marketing collateral, among other things.

Cincy Sundaes is an ice cream social that funds micro-grants for innovative ideas in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. For $5, attendees receive one sundae and one vote. They listen to four presenters spend four minutes sharing an idea, and then the audience can ask questions before voting on their favorite idea. 100% of the money collected at the door goes to the idea that receives the most votes.

This was an amazing platform for Megan to speak publicly about Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank for the first time. Urban Artifact hosted this last Cincy Sundaes of the year, and there were a ton of supporters who came out to vote for us. We can’t thank those dedicated friends and family enough.

If you have an idea that’s been brewing in your mind for awhile, I highly encourage you to submit an application to Cincy Sundaes for a spot in one of next year’s events. The co-organizers, Erika and Kristine, are great to work with and really have an eye for projects that are worthy of funding (if we do say so ourselves). Make sure you check out their website for more information on this amazing program: http://www.cincysundaes.com/. Or better yet, show up to their events in 2016 to support other entrepreneurs who have crazy ideas and lots of courage and help make a difference in our community.