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Thousands of diapers replace those stolen at Durham diaper bank

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Shelves sit empty at the Diaper Banks of North Carolina after thieves stole more than 13,000 diapers from the facility. Shelves sit empty at the Diaper Banks of North Carolina after thieves stole more than 13,000 diapers from the facility.
DURHAM, N.C. -

A Durham diaper bank that was robbed over the weekend said Wednesday that an outpouring of support will help it replenish the diapers that were lost and then some.

More than 13,000 diapers were stolen from the facility between noon Saturday and 8 a.m. Monday, leaving the shelves barren.

But Michelle Old of the Diaper Bank of North Carolina said the organization has received about 6,000 diapers from the community. Not only that, but Huggies has promised the organization 26,000 diapers and Pampers has promised 40,000 more.

Bob Brand, spokesperson for Huggies, said the diaper company has donated 26,000 diapers and wipes to the bank. The diaper company said it was "saddened" to hear of the theft. Brand also encouraged people to get involved with the National Diaper Bank Network as well, saying Huggies will match all donations for the next 24 hours .

"They originally called me and he said, 'You know, we really can't give you 13,000, the amount you lost, but we can double that,'" Old recalled of getting a call from Huggies. "At first I started to interrupt him and say, 'Oh, that's fine. We'll take whatever you'd like.'"

Old said Pampers was also touched by the story and promised to donate 40,000 diapers.

"They were grateful to have the opportunity to do it," Old said.

In a tweet Wednesday evening, the Diaper Bank said around 5,550 donated diapers were delivered to its door step.

The Diaper Bank provides diapers for families in need. Diapers can be expensive and many poor families struggle to keep fresh diapers on their children. It relies on donations, and distributes diapers through established family-support organizations. The organization says it fills the hole left by programs such as WIC and food stamps, which do not cover diapers.

Old said the thieves wiped the Diaper Bank out of sizes 4 and 5, which are the most popular sizes. She said the diapers were being re-sold on the street for $4 a package, the the diapers still have the Diaper Bank tags on them.

"I think it's shocking to think that somebody would come in and take diapers. Diapers that were collected by the generosity of the community," Old said. "We are going to focus on getting diapers in and doing what we are set to do, which is covering babies bottoms."

Every month the Diaper Bank distributes about 29,000 diapers to local non-profits, including Welcome Baby. The organization started just under a year ago with the goal of distributing 50,000 diapers in a year’s time; but over the past 11 months, its has distributed 139,000 diapers.

"It has been a great service to this community to have all these diapers," said volunteer Amie Gray.

Gray said while the theft was devastating, it seems to have brought the community together for a good cause.

"Hopefully that support will continue through the summer and through the fall because the need is not going to stop," Gray said.

Here is where you can contribute diapers for the Diaper Bank of North Carolina:

  • Bull City Craft (2501 University Drive, Durham)
  • Stay & Play Snack Cafe (405A East Chapel Hill Street, Durham)
  • Chapel Hill Children's Clinic (301 Kildaire Road #200, Chapel Hill) 

Diapers can also be donated through an Amazon wish list, or cash contributions via Paypal.

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Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.