History of the WPDB
In 2012, Rev. and Mrs. Phillip (Cathy) Battle founded the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank while serving New Light Temple Baptist Church as pastor and First Lady.
The diaper crisis was brought to the attention of the Battle family while in service at a church in Toledo, Ohio. When families were asked what service they most needed but was most frequently overlooked by government and/or private agencies, almost in one voice the reply was “Diapers!”
Pastor Battle researched the diaper need and found a diaper bank that was started in Tucson, AZ. He networked with other churches and agencies to begin one in the region he was serving, however it did not come to fruition.
But the cry of those Ohio families remained in the heart and mind of Rev. Battle as he was later called to lead his new congregation in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.
Using his initial research, and with the assistance of his wife and congregation, Pastor Battle formed the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank to serve communities in Western Pennsylvania.
From its original six partner agencies in Allegheny County, the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank has grown to 32 partner agencies in four additional counties – Fayette, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland. It collected and distributed 181,000 diapers last year. Total to date this year is half a million.
The Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank exists to
- Bring public awareness of the diaper need crisis
- Collect and distribute diapers; coordinate diaper drives to families in need
- Recruit social service agencies to distribute diapers
- Network with other 501c3 non-profits to build capacity and best practices
- Establish and supply local diaper banks within the region
- Provide other infant hygiene products
- Provide geriatric diaper supplies
- Mentor teenage parents
- Refer clients to appropriate agencies for services
- Identify at risk families
- Foster child/geriatric abuse prevention