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SEES students deliver for Savannah Care Center
SEES diapers
South Effingham Elementary School students help Savannah Care Center load 10,000-plus diapers Dec. 15. - photo by photo submitted

GUYTON — Savannah Care Center and new parents were the winners of a friendly competition at South Effingham Elementary School.

Led by Tiffany White’s fourth-grade class, students collected more than 10,000 diapers for the center, which offers free services for women and men facing unplanned pregnancy decisions. The donation was picked up Thursday.

“It was like six truckfuls,” Principal Mark Weese said. “It was amazing.”

It took the students only one week to reach the big total. They responded like they always do when asked for food or toy donations.

“We did it as a fundraiser just to help out local families,” fourth-grade teacher and drive organizer Kayla Mullens said. “It grew with the incentive of a doughnut party for our kids. ... We made it real fancy and put up a board where the students could see their total everyday.”

White’s class earned the doughnut feast by collecting 2,543 diapers.

“If you make it a competition, the students take it seriously,” Weese said. “That school spirit can back up our community for sure. The amount of diapers that we brought in should last (Savannah Care Center) through March.

“It was such a unique drive but there is such a need during this time of the year.”

The diaper drive was a community service project. The idea for it originated with literacy coach Kim Butler, who volunteers at Savannah Care Center, located at 105 E. 34th St, Savannah.

“This means months of availability,” Savannah Care Center Director Michael Williams said after taking a break from unloading the South Effingham donation. “When COVID-19 hit, everybody knew that we were out of toilet paper and paper towels. The story that nobody talked about was that the nation was out of diapers and, fortunately, just before COVID-19 hit we had a chiropractic place that had a diaper drive and we got 5,000 from them.

“That enabled us to keep the community in diapers for the three to four weeks when they didn’t have them in the grocery stores. That meant an awful lot to our follow-on visits to our front door, which is what we’re all about.

“Ten thousand diapers is a logistical nightmare for us and we LOVE it!”

Now that it has an ample supply of diapers on hand, Williams said the center’s immediate needs are strollers, pac n plays and cribs.

Williams said the diaper donation will be broken into “emergency packs” of 8-10 diapers and other items.

He explained, “When somebody comes in and says, ‘Hey! Do you have any formula? Do you have any baby wipes? Do you have any diapers’ We can say, ‘Sure. We’ve got you covered.’”

The emergency packs help establish relationships that enable the center to aid parents in other ways.

“There is a statement of constancy there that our clients respond to,” Williams said. “We are all about anything that we can do to further that conversation. ... This is a delightful thing.”

The center can be reached at 912-236-0916.