AURORA, Colo. — Every week, Denver-area nonprofit WeeCycle hosts distribution events for the community by giving out diapers, wipes, formula, clothes, and other baby essentials. But recently, the group has seen such an increase in demand, it’s become challenging for them to provide those much-needed items to everyone who needs them.
“It’s just really hard to keep up with demand,” WeeCycle executive director Morgan Seibel said.
The nonprofit accepts donations at their warehouse in Aurora of new or gently used baby items ranging from car seats and pack and plays, to toys and clothes. They then turn around and distribute those, along with diapers, wipes, and formula that are purchased with grant funding. For context, the nonprofit distributed over six million diapers in 2023, and given away over a half-million "baby gear items."
Seibel said their walk-up or drive-through distribution events have seen a 66% increase in attendance, just from September to December 2023.
“As the city has seen more people, we’ve seen more of any increase,” Seibel said.
That includes an increase in attendance by newly arrived migrants and refugees in Denver. Volunteers and Seibel herself have spoken to people who just arrived in town from Venezuela and other countries, who are in need of warmer clothes for their children.
“Coats are a huge need. We focus specifically on infant and toddler coats. So it's really hard to not be able to meet the need,” she said, explaining that all coats brought to a distribution event are usually gone within an hour.
The most high-demand items, according to WeeCycle, are strollers, pack and plays, infant coats, and car seats.
“Car seats are one that we can never keep up with demand, particularly infant and convertible car seats,” Seibel explained, showing Denver7’s Jason Gruenauer empty shelves in the nonprofit’s warehouse.
And while there was a stack of formula in the warehouse, it doesn’t last long.
“At many of our events, we always try to bring enough supplies, but we only have so much. And so sometimes we'll run out of a certain size of diapers before the end of the event. And especially with baby formula, a lot, we run out at almost every event before the end of the event,” she added.
So the nonprofit is asking for help, in terms of volunteers and donations. Distribution events need to be staffed, and donations sorted at their warehouse by volunteers. Items in need are, once again, strollers, pack and plays, infant coats, and car seats.
“It's heartbreaking. As a mom of two young kids, I cannot not fathom what it would feel like to not have enough clothing to keep my children warm or to not have enough diapers to keep them clean and healthy. So it is truly heartbreaking to not have enough to be able to meet the need for the families that are here,” Seibel said, in her ask for that volunteer and donation assistance.
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