Church members provide diapers to those in need
When families struggle financially and seek assistance obtaining essential items, community resources are generally available for free food and clothing. Diapers, however, are in constant demand, but often not offered through local pantries because they are expensive and “non-essential” in limited food budgets. Families with babies and toddlers are left with the significant challenge of obtaining this basic item.
Thanks to donations from the Metropolitan Ministry fund at Cleveland Heights’ Church of the Saviour UMC, the congregation has been meeting the demand for diapers for the past several years, distributing them at the Father Michael Wittman Ozanam Center, an East Cleveland food pantry and clothing bank serving Cleveland’s East Side.
Congregation members Tom and Lisa Wadsworth manage the diaper inventory on behalf of Church of the Saviour. Thanks to financial and diaper donations, the church supplies an average of 10,000 diapers per year, for weekly distribution.
"Church of the Saviour's connection to the overall work of the Father Michael Wittman Ozanam Center seems relatively small in the grand scheme of things, considering how many people are served," said the Rev. Andy Call, the church’s lead pastor. “But it isn't small to the families who need diapers for their children.
“The most impactful ministries often don't come at the institutional level, but in the work of individuals who strive to live the way Christ did. That's what this ministry is all about and what makes it so special."
The Wadsworths support the effort by purchasing and delivering the diapers, along with fellow church members who regularly volunteer.
“It is a privilege for Church of the Saviour to partner with the Father Michael Wittman Ozanam Center,” said Tom. “We are inspired by the many volunteers from the 14 churches that support this important ministry for East Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and the surrounding communities.”
The Father Michael Wittman Ozanam Center operates every Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon, as one of eight hunger centers with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Cleveland. The center is located at 13824 Euclid Ave., at St. Philomena Church in East Cleveland. A registered agency with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the all-volunteer organization provides individuals and families with free food and clothing.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/groups/FMWOC.
A 15-year Cleveland Heights resident, Carol Iott is an arts consultant, a board member for the Father Michael Wittman Ozanam Center, and a member of Communion of Saints Parish.