Looking for a unique but meaningful way to help out your Raleigh neighbors in need? Get on the train. The Diaper Train.
“We welcome the involvement of as many churches and civic groups as possible,” says Allene Adams, the Train's coordinator.
And just what is the Diaper Train? It’s a new local ministry with the goal of getting diapers to folks who have trouble affording them. "Diapers are very expensive," Adams told me. "They can cost up to about a hundred dollars a month per child and they're not covered by any public assistance program."
So, along comes the Diaper Train. Organized by volunteers at Saint Saviour's Center, the Train coordinates collection and distribution of disposable diapers for those in need. Faith groups, civic groups, and businesses have all pitched in to collect the diapers.
“We’ve got seven churches of all different denominations,” says Adams, “and we're currently approaching more churches to have them involved. We also have Temple Beth Or synagogue involved, as well. We’re really trying to get as many people involved as we can.”
Since its inception last December, the Diaper Train has distributed 36,000 diapers in the Raleigh area – 3,000 after April’s tornados alone -- giving them out through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Food Bank, and SAFEchild.
“We got the diapers yesterday,” emailed one enthusiastic SAFEchild volunteer to the ministry. “The moms were so excited; one of them said that she only had two dollars last night and only seven diapers left, so your donation to her will help her tremendously.”
Adams says these diapers are really making a difference. “In doing research we found you cannot use cloth diapers at laundromats, so the need for disposable diapers for day care centers is really important for babies’ health and hygiene. We found research that showed babies are more likely to be abused when they cry from not being changed frequently enough. So it’s just for their entire well-being.”
If you’d like to get on the Diaper Train, your business or group can host a diaper drive, or you can just make an individual donation to the Saint Saviour’s Center. You can get more details at this link.
Dozens of young Catholics from our area are on the trip of a lifetime right now. They left this past Friday, along with Bishop Michael Burbidge, for a religious pilgrimage to France and Spain. This group from the Raleigh Diocese, ages 16 to 34, will join up with hundreds of thousands of worshipers for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid. In addition to attending the Youth Day liturgical ceremonies presided over by Pope Benedict XVI, the 65 local young Catholics and their chaperones will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. You can follow their pilgrimage at this special website.
They’re calling it “a match made in heaven.” Raleigh-based ministry Wheels4Hope is announcing a major new partner agency: Catholic Charities. Wheels4Hope is a faith-based car donation program that gets used vehicles into the hands of worthy families and individuals in need.
Popular Christian speaker Joyce Meyer brings her conference tour to Raleigh this week, speaking at the RBC Center Thursday through Saturday. The event is free, with seating on a first-come, first served basis.
Duke University continues its efforts to diversify its religious staff. The University announced it has hired its first Hindu chaplain. You can read about Usha Rajagopalan here.
Another consequence of tight budget times: North Carolina and other states are struggling to find prison chaplains.
The Forsyth County, NC, Board of Commissioners is taking its fight to have sectarian prayers at board meetings all the way to the US Supreme Court. The Commissioners Board has voted to appeal a lower court ruling that banned prayers to specific deities.
Soldiers who are non-believers will have something to sing about next spring at Ft. Bragg. The Army has approved the Rock Beyond Belief concert, sponsored by atheists, agnostics, and non-theists. The March concert comes in response to a religious festival at Ft. Bragg last fall organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.