The second annual Day of Caring Diaper Drive hosted by the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area was, once again, a huge success.

"When you look around our conference room and you see it filled with diapers, it's an overwhelming amount of diapers," United Way Executive Director Brenda Episcopo said. "When you start putting that out there to families, it'll go a couple of weeks depending on how many they get or it may go a week. But, 7,000 diapers, like you say, is 7,000 changes. So, that's pretty amazing."

Episcopo says throughout April people dropped off packs of diapers and other baby goods for families in need throughout the area. Donors also dropped off items at the Target store at Sangertown Square. Other clubs and organizations also got involved, collecting items for the cause.

Those items were then distributed to nine area programs in Herkimer and Oneida Counties today by the United Way, with the help of some volunteers from Target.

Gino Geruntino, WIBX
Gino Geruntino, WIBX

"Target has been a great partner to us," Episcopo said. "They're always a public drop off site, and they're very welcoming to people just coming in and dropping off whatever it is we're raising, whether it's diapers, school supplies or books. Then, when we have events like these, they send volunteers down."

Sites receiving diapers include Ilion, Herkimer, West Winfield, Clark Mills and Utica.

But, at the end of the day, Episcopo says the event has a profound impact on needy families who have landed on tough times.

"Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they pray. Sometimes they're thankful, and sometimes they're just... you can just see the relief on their face. [They say things like,] 'Oh, I'm thankful because this is one less thing I have to worry about this month.' That's why we keep doing this."

Two public distribution sites have also been established at the Corasanti Children's Center at UCP, in Utica, and at the Catholic Charities of Herkimer County, in Ilion, to give out diapers until they run out. Numbers to both places can be found below.

Corasanti Children's Center at UCP - (315) 797-4080
Catholic Charities of Herkimer County - (315) 894-9917

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