A holiday season collection is still underway in the St. Cloud area this week. Not for toys, coats or food, but for diapers.
A grassroots effort started by a few community organizers is collecting diapers to donate to agencies that care for young children. And their goal is a grand one: 100,000 diapers by Jan. 3.
The effort is called Operation Baby New Year, and in just its second year, it's gained a great deal of involvement from St. Cloud and surrounding communities in central Minnesota, according to the St. Cloud Times.
Businesses, churches and other nonprofits are supporting the effort by spreading the word to their constituents, acting as dropoff locations for donated diapers or making their own donations, the Times reports.
All the diapers collected will be given to local groups – The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Anna Marie's Alliance, Lutheran Social Services, and Place of Hope Ministries – and they in turn will distribute them to clients who need them.
Justin Michael, a local resident who launched Operation Baby New Year, said families with babies face an ongoing need, every day, for diapers. And they're expensive: $70-$80 per month, per child, according to some estimates.
Michael told the Times he thinks a cause such as this – simply caring for babies – is one that everyone can support regardless of their political views or religious beliefs.
As of Monday afternoon, the campaign is more than halfway to its goal, with 53,620 diapers donated so far, according to the Operation Baby New Year Facebook page.
If you're interested in donating diapers to the cause, you'll find a list of all the dropoff locations here.
You can also make a financial contribution on their website or at their GoFundMe page.
The campaign ends on Sunday, Jan. 3, with a "closing party" that evening at the Veranda Lounge in St. Cloud.