Lending a helping hand

The Rotary Club of Deptford partners with police on Diaper Drive.

Deptford Township County Clerk Dina Zawadski and fellow township employee Patrice Dottaviano show off a donation made on behalf of the police department and the Rotary Club of Deptford. The organizations are accepting diapers, pull-ups, and wipes through Oct. 25 that will be distributed to families in need next month. (RYAN LAWRENCE/The Sun)

Coming up on its 50th anniversary as an organization this spring, the Rotary Club of Deptford is always looking for ways to help its community.

“The main motto is ‘Service about self,’” member David Kryszczak said.

Sometimes the ideas for serving others are obvious, or have been traditions within the club. Other times they arrive in a random email, sparking a new venture.

One of the Rotary Club of Deptford’s current projects falls into the latter category. 

An email arrived recently with the details about a diaper drive that a partner club in Mt. Laurel had organized. Last year, the Rotary Club of Mt. Laurel had raised more than $1,000 in diapers, wipes and powder formula for families in need.

“A lot of things in Rotary come from stealing ideas that work,” Kryszczak said with a laugh. “So I called community policing and said that we should get this going. And then we started it right up. It’s a good little project.”

The Rotary Club of Deptford and the Deptford Township Police Department have partnered up for the diaper drive that’s taking place through October. Residents are encouraged to donate diapers (from newborn to size 5), pull-ups, wipes, and powder formula by bringing the goods directly to the dropbox on the ground floor of the police department. They’re accepting adult diapers, too.

The drive is ongoing and will wrap up on Oct. 25, with the distribution taking place in early November.

“The police department will be distributing them to families in need,” Kryszczak said. “It’s such an easy thing that most people have extras of. So if we can take that and redistribute it to those that really, really need it (that’s the goal).”

Kryszczak said that no matter how many donations they get within the next few weeks, the Rotary Club of Deptford’s goal will be to double that amount when they hold the drive for a second time next fall. 

The diaper drive is just one of the current ongoing projects. The Rotary Club of Deptford just finished a book bag drive, handing out bags filled with supplies to students in need, and is also putting together “Blizzard Bags,” which are bundles of food and groceries worth $100-$150 each that will be distributed to 20-30 families in the township. 

“A better thing to do is everything,” Kryszczak said of the multiple takes the Rotary Club is juggling.

Another, much bigger venture Rotary Club of Deptford is working on: organizing a fundraising trip to Deptford, England with possible stops in Ireland and Scotland, too. The idea is to connect with other Rotary Clubs within the international organization, “connect the dots to (the original Deptford),” and raise money, too.

“We’re working with a travel agency – it’s a giant fundraiser,” Kryszczak said.

Interested parties can inquire within the Rotary Club. Perhaps donating some diapers is a good way to begin that connection.

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Ryan is a veteran journalist of 20 years. He’s worked at the Courier-Post, Philadelphia Daily News, Delaware County Daily Times, primarily as a sportswriter, and is currently a sports editor at Newspaper Media Group and an adjunct journalism instructor at Rowan University.