By ANGIE CARNATHAN
The second annual Diaper Drop fundraiser is being held today at the Sportsplex, located at 405 Lynn Lane in Starkville. The event runs from 3 to 6 p.m. and benefits needy families in the Golden Triangle. Participants are asked to bring any size box or bag of diapers in exchange for lunch, fellowship and fun. Featured speaker Pastor Butch Simmons of Emmanuel Church will say a blessing and remind the community how powerful it is to serve one another.
Theresa Kennedy of Starkville coordinates the fundraiser.
âDiaper Drop is an event where we ask the community to help with diaper needs of families who cannot afford them,â Kennedy said. âWe strive to help those who are on food stamps, government help, or just need a helping hand because of their life circumstances.â
Kennedy said she owes thanks to Matthew Rye of Starkville Parks and Recreation for providing the Sportsplex as a place to hold the event.
âWe provide lunch, music and hugs for the communityâs participation,â Kennedy said. âAfter we gather the proceeds, then we either hand deliver them to needy families, churches or other organizations that are familiar with their communityâs needs.â
Kennedy said her reasoning behind the event is very personal.
âWhen I was a child, many hands invested in me and my family,â Kennedy said. âI came from 12 children, a divorce, alcohol and lots of pain; the casualties of family war ââ like many of our neighbors. We had to live on food stamps and welfare; it was quite embarrassing. Free lunch at school was never eaten because I didnât want anyone to know that we couldnât afford food, let alone anything else.â
Kennedy said her fiance, Stefan Blumer, is an engineer, and his profession brought the couple to Starkville last summer.
âWhen Stefan began working for Paccar last summer, I sought out families who were in need,â Kennedy said. âI knew we had to make a difference even if it was small. We gave two families diapers and food, but there were so many more in need. So we said lets do a âDiaper Dropâ. We named it in sync with the website (http://www.dropopp.com). It just all came together like it was meant to be.â
Kennedy said her philosophy is it takes a community of hands to lift up those that cannot lift themselves.
âDiapers are an easy thing,â Kennedy said. âWe just provide a place to come together and do something for a greater cause. We are asking the community to drop off any size pack of diapers for your less fortunate neighbors. Plus you get free lunch and definitely a big hug ââ who couldnât use that? We came to this little town not knowing anyone and found such a wonderful spirit of love and community.â
Adrienne Andrews and her son loaned their voices for the PSA. Andrews said she will also be setting up and helping with the diaper collection and distribution on Sunday.
âTheresa is good friend who I met working out at the Sportsplex,â Andrews said. âIâm happy to support her. I think this is just a great cause.â
Lauren Love of Love Fitness LLC is Kennedyâs trainer at the Sportsplex. She is also a friend and supporter of Kennedy and the Diaper Drop.
âShe (Kennedy) is very passionate about this event and excited for an opportunity to help the community,â Love said. âHer enthusiasm is contagious.Â Iâm hoping to help Theresa get the word out and get people to stop by on Sunday and drop off diapers. This is a great way to help families in our community.â
Love said events such as the Diaper Drop are important to the community of Starkville.
âThis is a local community effort, organized and facilitated here in Starkville,â Love said. âAll donated items will directly benefit families in need who live in our community.Â To help our community grow in a positive direction, I find it beneficial to help our growing families.âÂ
Kennedy said she would like to thank Bill Weeks of Coca Cola for donating the beverages. She said she also owes thanks to all who have supported her efforts through prayers and benevolence.
âOur mission is to raise love and a vibration of hope for our world,â Kennedy said. âIt sounds corny, but itâs good for all of us.â
For more information, contact Theresa Kennedy at 248-727-3114.