Have you ever wondered about the story of Jake’s? We were recently featured by one of our nonprofit partners as a featured Feel Good Friday story. We thought they did such a write up we’d share it with you!
For today’s Feel Good Friday we would like to highlight a partner located in Little Chute, Wisconsinwho is making a big wave - Jake's Network of Hope (also known as Jake’s Diapers, Inc.).
Jake's Network of Hope was founded in 2011 when Stephanie, Executive Director and Founder (of what was then Jake’s Diaper’s), went on a women’s mission trip to Peru. On her trip, Stephanie visited an orphanage that was facing dire circumstances; forcing caregivers to reuse disposable diapers for the 15 babies that were in their care.
When Stephanie had her son, Jake, she decided to use sustainable, reusable, cloth diapers. It was then that Stephanie made the decision to keep and collect the cloth diapers that Jake had outgrown, so that she could donate them to the orphanage she visited in Peru – and that’s how Jake’s Diapers got its start.
Since then, Jake's Network of Hope has grown tremendously, and is currently the largest cloth diaper bank in the world. Now, in addition to helping families-in-need by providing cloth diapers, disposable diapers, feminine care products, and other adult care essentials, Jake’s Network of Hope has expanded to be able to provide families with all types of basic needs items - from clothing and blankets to kitchen supplies and toys for children.
Because the need has grown so much, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in 2020, Stephanie and the team at Jake’s Network of Hope decided they needed to find a bigger location to move into. “(The new warehouse has) six times the space we were in, which is really exciting,” said Stephanie.
Like many organizations, several of the volunteers at Jake's Network of Hope are retired individuals, who also happen to be more at risk due to the pandemic. This has meant a loss of essential volunteers during the pandemic.
Thankfully, the new space that Jake's Network of Hope is moving into will allow them to invite a lot more volunteer groups to help out. “It’s a lot safer for volunteers, we’re able to work better and faster to help even more families in need. It’s just such a joy to be here.” said Stephanie.
An organization that was started to help 15 orphans in Peru has grown into so much more. Jakes Network of Hope has now helped more than 63,000 people in more than 60 countries. “To me, it’s totally mind blowing," said Stephanie. "I can’t believe that right now, we are loading diapers to help babies in Liberia. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Read more about Jake’s Network of Hope on their website and check out these news articles on nbc26, abc2, and USA Today to learn more.