Taking care of babies

Alice Tomchik of Johnstown gives packages of diapers to No Bottom Left Behind Diaper Bank, 530 N. Perry St. She asked guests at her seventh birthday party to donate diapers to help babies rather than bringing gifts for her. (Phot0 submitted)

JOHNSTOWN — “Alice has always loved babies,” said her mom.

When Nancy Ackerbauer asked her 7-year-old daughter, Alice Tomchik, to add diapers on her birthday wishlist for 68 invited guests, Alice said she readily agreed “because they would help a lot of babies.”

“Alice has so many toys and crafts,” said Ackerbauer, also mother of two sons, 4 and 9.

“I try to encourage the kids to collect things instead of getting gifts. “I know that panicky feeling when you’re going to run out of diapers.”

So Alice, who is starting second grade at Glebe Street Elementary School in the fall, gave diapers and wipes donated at her party to No Bottom Left Behind Diaper Bank, 530 N. Perry St.

“This is very important to our work when people make very kind gestures,” said Victoria Yusko, coordinator of the diaper bank.

Yusko said people donate diapers, wipes, and diaper rash creams, pastes and ointments for any occasion or no occasion, including births, birthdays, baptisms, and memorials for a children.

She said that “one in three families cannot afford diapers” and that 27 years ago, she was one of them. “I found myself struggling,” she said.

“Diapers are a basic need” not covered by government assistance, she said.

In its last fiscal year, ending Aug. 22, 2016, her nonprofit charity, which gets no government funds, collected more than 20,000 diapers, 35,700 wipes and 150 boxes of diaper rash treatments. She expects that to double by this Aug. 22–though right now she’s short of sizes 5 and 6 because of high demand.

Interestingly, Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, is National Diaper Awareness Week, but children such as Alice can be big-hearted year-round.

Editor’s note: The Leader-Herald has started a new feature called Little Acts of Kindness. If you know of someone who has done a little act of kindness for someone else, let us know. Email to polder@leaderherald.com or submit through our virtual newsroom at leaderherald.com.

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