When Jason Fitzgerald, clinical coordinator and exercise physiologist at Dee Physical Therapy, met with the staff of the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) eight years ago, he discovered there was an unmet demand for disposable diapers for at-risk populations. Inspired to create change, Fitzgerald began the Dee PT Great Diaper Drive in 2007 to engage the larger community in improving the lives of individuals in transition.
Now in its ninth year, the drive has collected more than 160,000 diapers to donate to families in need that are temporarily living in COTS shelters. The cost of disposable diapers, often prohibitive for low-income community members, presents a stumbling block in vulnerable budgets. Fitzgerald, along with his colleagues at Dee Physical Therapy, aims to remove that stumbling block. “Your donation helps families save so that they can move from shelters back to living independently,” he tells prospective and repeat donors alike.
In the past, donations from local companies such as Healthy Living and Seventh Generation, as well as from patients,
coworkers, political figures and neighbors, have bolstered numbers significantly. This year, the drive, which happens annually around the holiday season, has a focus on increasing community involvement and support from organizations statewide. If participants meet the 2015 goal of 40,000 diapers—exceeding last year’s total donations of 32,000—Fitzgerald and his crew can be assured that the program’s continued growth will have a tremendous impact on families in need.
Donations will be accepted Oct. 19 through Dec. 22. Diapers can be dropped off between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
on Mondays through Thursdays and between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Fridays at DeePT locations in South Burlington, Shelburne, and Hinesburg. Donation pick-up is also available.
For more information or if you have any questions, contact Dee Physical Therapy at 865-0010 or email Jason Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org.