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Aurora nonprofit struggling to meet demand after bus is stripped, causing thousands in damage

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AURORA, Colo. — A nonprofit that helps families in need with baby essentials is struggling to meet the demand after a criminal stripped their delivery bus and caused thousands in damage.

WeeCycle has served the families across Colorado for more than a decade and the demand for diapers is growing as the economy spirals and unemployment surges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The demand is unbelievable, we cannot even begin to scrape the surface,” Lindsey Zaback, WeeCycle diapers bank program coordinator, told Denver7.

The nonprofit typically works with 50 organizations, but that number has grown to 75 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a time of need when their services are vital, they say they were hit by a criminal who stripped the bus of the catalytic converter.

“Our hearts dropped; I mean, that is the lifeblood of what we do, is supplying baby gear to families in need,” Zaback said.

The estimated cost of the bus repair is more than $2,000. The founders say it’s a lot of money for their organization. They say they have insurance but they are not sure how much will be covered. They also worry their bus will be struck again if they make the necessary repair. The bus is used to pick up donations and make deliveries to organizations. It can fit up to 30,000 diapers.

“Without the bus we can’t supply organizations with those essential items,” Zaback said.

Employees have stepped up and are using their personal cars to make deliveries, but Zaback says it’s not sustainable. She says now ,they must make multiple trips to get donations to organizations and families in need.

“Time is of the essence, especially when it comes to diapers, wipes and formula for babies that are under one (year old),” Morgan Seibel, WeeCycle Executive Director, said.

Lesley Del Rio relied on the nonprofit when she was a teen mom and times got tough.

“It was so, so helpful because I could engage and focus on learning and expanding and reaching my full potential while still being a mother and not feeling like my son had to go without,” Del Rio said.

She now works for the Pace Program at the Boys & Girls Club in Metro Denver and says she's seeing a big need for baby essentials.

Since early March, WeeCycle has served more than 7,000 children and provided 186,209 diapers, that's more than five times the diapers compared to last year during the same time. They also provided 246,000 wipes and hundreds of cans of formula to organizations.

Organization leaders are asking the community to donate what they can to help get a bus back on the road, so they can continue helping families.

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