Circle of Change

by Jake's Network of Hope
Circle of Change
Circle of Change
Circle of Change
Circle of Change

No one enjoys paying fines. For families living in poverty, a citation can add a devastating blow to an already tricky financial situation.

The Oshkosh Police Department recognizes hardship requires community response, and has partnered with Jake’s to fulfill low income families’ basic needs through its Community Crisis Closet; Jake’s My Neighbor Wisconsin program provides many of the items distributed.

Imagine a police officer pulls over a driver for a basic traffic violation and discovers a child inside not in a car seat. When the officer asks the driver why they do not have a car seat, they respond that they cannot afford one, but they need to take their child to the babysitter so they can go to work.

Now what?

“Now instead of issuing a citation and still not having a car seat for the child to safely ride in the car, a patrol officer can get a car seat from the Community Closet and help to install the seat in the car,” said Officer Katie Mann. “Car seats are one of the many needed items for families in Oshkosh. Having new car seats on hand to give out to families that patrol comes in contact with has been very useful.

“The Community Crisis Closet has helped a lot of families this past year,” Mann continued. “We have given out food items, clothing, bedding, shoes, hygiene items, car seats, etc to people in need.”

Mann said the department has provided supplies to the schools to help students in need, and also has worked with various organizations to support refugee families.

“Having these items on hand and readily available has been so helpful,” she said. “Being able to give these new supplies to those in need in our community has helped us to continue to build strong and positive relationships between the police department and the community that we serve.”

Here are a few other examples of when a police officer might leverage resources through the Community Crisis Closet:

  • There is a house fire at 3 AM in the morning in January. A family flees the home only wearing their pajamas- no shoes, coats or extra clothing. The family is now displaced from their home and is in need of basic clothing, food and hygiene items.
  • A patrol officer is on routine patrol at 1:00 AM and locates a homeless individual. They are in need of various items, especially a winter coat and winter gloves to keep them warm.
  • A car accident in which the vehicle is heavily damaged and the car seat is no longer usable. The driver tells the patrol officer that was the only car seat that the family has (they have to share it among the various vehicles) and they can’t afford to purchase another one. A patrol officer can get a car seat from the Community Closet to give to the family as well as any other items that would need to be replaced due to this accident.
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Caleb’s dad brought him to the clinic in search of infant formula for him. Caleb’s mother struggled with mental health problems, and eventually Caleb’s dad needed to work, so he left Caleb with his grandpa. Unfortunately, his grandpa was unable to care for him well and he became malnourished. 

Caleb lives in a 2 room home made of cinder block cement and tin with 6 family members. They do not have running water at their home or a flush toilet but do have an outhouse. Besides being malnourished Caleb also has a cold and fever on and off. They traveled 1.5 hours by motorcycle to arrive at the clinic.

Caleb had bad diarrhea when he first came, so diapers from Jake’s helped to contain that for him and helped for other kids not to get sick.

“He always is happy and laughing,” Licia of Real Hope for Haiti says. “He loves his dad and is very happy when he visits.”

Caleb arrived at just 16 pounds but grew to 23 pounds as he regained his health. 

Little by Little, these kiddos get better. Together, we’re able to make that possible.

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We're excited to share that Jake's Diapers was recently featured on USA Today. The news outlet interviewed our Executive Director Stephanie Bowers, capturing the depth of all the work we do.

The feature also discussed our nonprofit’s significant growth during 2020 as a result of increased needs due to COVID-19. As an example, we provided more diapers in March, April and May than we did in all of 2019.

“Diapers are such a basic need but so missed,” Stephanie explains. “If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and you go to the store because desperately need diapers and you go to the store and now the shelves are empty - what do you do?”

As of the end of July 2020, our total diaper distribution this year to babies in need is 443,994. We're excited to highlight our evolution and the impact our diapers have made since the beginning. 

Watch the amazing video here.


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"Alone we can do so little. Together, we can do so much." - Helen Keller

When COVID-19 hit locally in March, we accelerated our mission to help vulnerable populations struggling with financial decisions between food and other basic needs. 

There are so many families struggling right now to buy essential products - like diapers, period products and adult care essentials - for their families. We knew these people would need extra help and care to circumvent the pandemic that would disproportionally affect people living in poverty.

We are so grateful for new supporters of our cause as we come together to help our community get through this time. Because of your support, we're able to ....

  • Distribute 313,665 essential hygiene products to people in need between March + April. 
  • Help 7,054 people because of those distributions.

This impact doesn't even count May, yet!

Thank you for joining our cause as a monthly supporter, and realizing the difference that can have in others lives. It really means the world - we're happy to have you as part of our Circle of Change.

P.S. Our "Mother's Love is the Purest on Earth" canvas bags are in! Please send an e-mail to with your mailing address so we can ship these out.


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Organization Information

Jake's Network of Hope

Location: Neenah, WI - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @jakesdiapers
Project Leader:
Scott Sawinski
Neenah , WI United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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