Cloth diaper collection making a difference

Two area women are making a difference in the world one diaper at a time.

For about a year, Ann Hinkfuss and Stephanie Bowers have been collecting cloth diapers. They donate most of them to needy babies around the world, living in poor countries. Some also go to families in the U.S.

“I think we would have been too overwhelmed if we knew what it was leading us to. It’s way beyond what we thought,” said Ann Hinkfuss of Appleton.

Jake’s Diapers is a cloth diaper collection effort that helps babies in need worldwide.

“It’s just amazing to think, that one year ago we were just going to work with that one small orphanage, that Ann went back to in Peru a few weeks ago… and how it’s just gone so much farther,” said Stephanie Bowers of Greenleaf.

Together the women have helped hundreds of babies across the world. That includes an orphanage in Peru where it all started. During the second visit, Jake’s Diapers was able to donate about 150 diapers to the facility. They’ve also sent diapers to the Congo in Africa and to Guatemala where families are living near a garbage dump site.

Now, Hinkfuss and Bowers are also working on sending baby supplies to even more countries like Latvia, New Guinea, and Haiti.

“One cloth diaper, one child, one orphanage at a time, and it all adds up,” said Bowers.

“I feel like we’re blessed to be a blessing,” said Hinkfuss.

Big boxes of donated supplies, mainly cloth diapers are piled in Bowers’ basement.

“What started off as a little, tiny idea… It’s a hobby gone wild,” said Bowers.

The women are also collecting other helpful items, things like formula, bottles, blankets, and sewing supplies.

“We’ve been able to take donations of time, talent and treasures… and match them up with different needs,” said Bowers.

The women say they’ve helped to donate 1,500 cloth diapers.

“We’re just two regular women from Northeast Wisconsin, and we have a passion for making a difference,” said Bowers.

The pair says they get help from friends, family, and their church.

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