Diaper Bank Network of Grays Harbor County Fills the Gap for Families in Oceans Shores Pacific Beach and Beyond

Grays Harbor County Public Health is filling the gap for families in their county who are in need of diapers and wipes through their program, Diaper Bank Network of Grays Harbor County. The program provides diapers to families in need in several different ways, including delivering diapers to parents and guardians all over the county.

The Start of the Diaper Bank Network of Grays Harbor County

Imagine your baby is crying. They’ve just awoken from a nap and you know exactly what those cries mean. You head to the changing table, lay your baby down and reach for the diapers. You’re almost out. Some parents in Grays Harbor would run to the store or call a delivery service to get more.

But some parents cannot. It’s the end of the month and money is tight for the next few days. Thankfully, the Diaper Bank Network of Grays Harbor County opened last month. Parents are not having to choose between paying for their heat or purchasing diapers for their child, explains Erin Schreiber, healthy families division manager at Grays Harbor County Public Health explains.

Grays Harbor Public Health Parent Educators Marisela Martinez (left) and Nikki Gwin (right) show off the Diaper Bank Network inventory. Photo courtesy: Grays Harbor County Public Health

South Sound Parents as Teachers program, a home visiting program for parents with children 3 and under procured a grant for the purchase of concrete goods a few years ago. Diapers and wipes were purchased and given out to current enrollees in the program. Around the same time, the South Sound Parent to Parent Program received the Washington State commerce grant, which allowed a diaper bank a couple of days a month.

 “Through these tangible projects, we saw and heard from families that [a diaper bank] was really important,” Schreiber states. “Research too shows the benefits and protective factors for families when they have access to diapers and wipes.” The problem was that funding for both programs were only temporary.

The idea of a long-term diaper network started at a local coalition meeting and eventually the Diaper Bank Network of Grays Harbor County came to fruition. “It’s more like a network than it is a bank,” explains Schreiber, “It’s more than a brick and mortar. Families can access the bank where they live, instead of having to find transportation to a specific location, at a specific day and time.” With the help of staff and volunteers, diapers are being dropped off at the homes of families in need.

How to Receive Free Diapers in Grays Harbor

There are several ways to access the Grays Harbor Diaper Bank Network. One, parents can join the Connect, Play, Learn Playgroup that meets every 2nd Tuesday of the month from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and pick up diapers there. It is located at the Pearsall Building at 2109 Sumner Ave.

Alternatively, parents and guardians can join Coastal Community Action Program. The Coastal Community Action Program assists people in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties to create stability through programs that address housing and utility needs, transportation and job training. They also deliver diapers and wipes to families, mostly in Aberdeen and Hoquiam, but can travel across the county.

Save the Children is another way parents and guardians can access diapers with the Diaper Bank Network of Grays Harbor County. A nationwide program Save the Children, creates opportunities for families to help their children to succeed not only in school, but in life in general. Geared toward the first five years of a child’s life, Save the Children provides education and health programs to children and families in Grays Harbor.

A dry and happy baby thanks to Diaper Bank Network of Grays Harbor County. Photo credit: Luidmila Kot

The Future of the Diaper Bank Network in Garys Harbor

After opening in March 2024, the Diaper Bank Network of Grays Harbor County can already be found giving out diapers and wipes in Pacific Beach, Ocean Shores, Aberdeen and Hoquiam. “We are trying to be very thoughtful about how we roll it out and implement it in a way that is beneficial to families,” Schreiber states. “So, we applied for a small grant through the Grays Harbor Community Foundation. They supported it whole-heartedly.”

Delivery of diapers and wipes can be arranged for anywhere across the county. They are in the process of reaching even further out into the Washington county with upcoming distributions in Elma and West Port.

The distributed diapers are meant to be a way for parents to get extra diapers to tide them over between purchases. Participants can expect to receive up to a sleeve of diapers once a month. Emergency diaper distribution is available as well. Diapers are for personal use and are not to be re-sold.

The Diaper Bank Network continues to look for funding. The most important thing for the program overall? “We want to be sustainable,” Scheiber says.

Currently, the funding for this project is still limited. For those who would like to help, you can drop off diapers and wipes at Grays Harbor Public Health. Otherwise, email or call Erin at 360.500.4065 for more information on in-kind donations and diaper drives for the Grays Harbor Diaper Bank Network.

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