DENVILLE, NJ — More than 70 Denville families were represented by a member of Girl Scouts during the inaugural “Girl Scouts Sing at Santa Land” holiday caroling held at the Denville Rotary Club’s Santa Land in Downtown Denville on Sun., Dec. 15. Troop Leader Jessica Tar of Denville coordinated and directed the event, which also included a charitable component – a diaper drive for the Morris Diaper Bank sponsored by Child and Family Resources in Mt. Arlington, New Jersey.
The event opened with the Pledge of Allegiance led by second-grade Brownie Scout Kalista Tar, and recitation of the Girl Scout Promise led by second-grade Brownie Scout Breanna Clover. First-grade Daisy Scout Laila Tar introduced the carolers who then sang familiar holiday songs such as “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Deck the Halls,” “Jingle Bells,” “Dreidel Song,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Joy to the World.” Fifth-grade Junior Scout Michaela Anderson gave closing remarks. Cadette Scout Emily Hollner held the United States flag throughout most of the event.
“I’m very honored to have coordinated this event. We wanted to do it last year but unfortunately had to cancel,” stated Tar.
“We selected the Morris Diaper Bank as our community service partner because we wanted to do a drive that did not include food, which tends to be more popular. We were looking to do something that helped to alleviate the financial burden of families in need,” Tar said.
Rebekka Zydel, executive director of Child and Family Resources, accepted the donation of 2,524 diapers in varying sizes and expressed gratitude for the Girl Scouts’ thoughtfulness and generosity.
Child and Family Resources, established in 1972, is Morris County’s local childcare resource and referral agency. According to its website, it “creates and delivers programs and services for the community that support the development of children and strengthen families.” Zydel, a resident of Branchburg, New Jersey, has been with Child and Family Resources for 15 years and leads a staff of 25 employees and one volunteer.
“Diapers are an overlooked necessity,” Zydel shared with TAPinto Denville. She explained that many ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families struggle to purchase diapers and often will choose to buy food over diapers.
“The need for diapers is not on most people’s radars,” said Zydel. “People assume diapers are covered by SNAP or WIC, but there is no safety net program that covers diapers.”
“We’ve heard stories where some families will dump the contents of a diaper and continue to reuse the soiled diaper again and again. Other families might forgo changing an overnight diaper and will arrive at childcare centers with full diapers.”
According to Zydel, Morris Diaper Bank, which is a member of the National Diaper Bank Network, distributed approximately 80,000 diapers in 2018 through distribution partners like NORWESCAP Early Head Start Program in Denville or directly to families during Morris Diaper Bank’s winter holiday drive and summer school’s-out drive. This year’s winter holiday drive starts Tue., Dec. 17, and ends Fri., Dec. 20. Diapers can be dropped off at 111 Howard Blvd., Suite 104, in Mt. Arlington, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“The demand is greater than what we collected last year. Our goal is one million,” Zydel said.
The Morris Diaper Bank also collects and distributes adult diapers.
Visit https://cfrmorris.org/support-resources/morris-diaper-bank/ for more information about the Morris Diaper Bank.
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