Three Catholic centers among those sharing in state rep’s gift of 12,000 diapers

State Rep. Ryan Spain (73rd District) delivers diapers from his Holiday Diaper Drive to the Family Resources Center in Peoria for the Christ Child Society of Central Illinois and St. Gianna Baby Pantry, an outreach of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria. Accepting them are Therese Peck (left) of the Christ Child Society and Suzie Meismer of Catholic Charities. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

The Christ Child Society of Central Illinois, St. Gianna Baby Pantry and Women’s Care Center, all in Peoria, have more diapers to provide for at-risk mothers and their babies thanks to an early visit from Santa Claus. This year he took the form of State Rep. Ryan Spain (73rd District), who delivered 12,000 diapers of all sizes to 13 food pantries and crisis pregnancy centers.

Accepting the diapers for the Christ Child Society was Therese Peck, president. It was the first year they benefited from Spain’s Holiday Diaper Drive.

Suzie Meismer accepted the diapers on behalf of the St. Gianna Baby Pantry, an outreach of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria.

“This allows us to add a few more diapers to our layette package, with the donations we receive,” said Peck. “It gives moms a little more. Obviously diapers are not cheap.”

Typically, the Christ Child Society layettes include 18 diapers for newborns and 18 Size 1 diapers. As of Dec. 18, the organization had provided 279 of the baskets to 18 hospitals and clinics in central Illinois.

Spain said this is the third year he has collected diapers, which are donated by constituents and businesses throughout the six counties the 73rd District covers. In that time he has been able to give away 20,000 diapers.

“We started this with our local food pantries. The premise was they’ve certainly received lots of donations of food items and canned goods, but one of the things they never got a lot of is diapers,” he said, noting that there are no programs to assist with that.

“Now that it’s the third year, this has grown and the number of locations we’re able to support has grown — this being a great example,” Spain said as he looked around the Christ Child Society’s workroom on the lower level of the Family Resources Center. “It’s wonderful.”

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