On Feb. 4 and 5, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officers Paul Nonnast and Rick Howell delivered 30 boxes of diapers to the Olathe and Mission WIC offices as part of a special diaper drive initiated by the Sheriff’s Office.
A few weeks earlier, after presenting a workplace safety training at the Mental Health Center, Nonnast and Howell stopped by the WIC office to ask the staff what their greatest needs were at the time. The Sheriff’s Office had already signed up to participate in a drive for Giving the Basics, a Kansas City area nonprofit that collects hygiene items throughout the metro, but they felt they could do more for organizations within county government.
Olathe WIC Site Supervisor Carol Winters informed them that many families with newborns and toddlers who seek services do not have the proper number of diapers, because WIC funds can only be used to purchase food, not toiletries or household items. According to Winters, WIC staff often provide diapers for clients out of their own pockets. Nonnast and Howell felt this was a need they could meet through a diaper drive.
In partnership with the Johnson County Kiwanis Club, who also wanted to address the shortage, the Sheriff’s Office organized a diaper drive and was able to collect 30 boxes of diapers over a two-week period. Nonnast and Howell delivered the diapers to WIC locations in both Mission and Olathe, where they will be distributed to families across Johnson County who participate in the WIC program and express a need for more than food assistance.