WAUKEGAN -- DAILY HERALD -- A new sponsorship program is filling a pandemic-fueled fund-raising gap while offering benefactors the chance to connect with one of the area's most visible humanitarian champions: Keeping Families Covered.
Called the Changing Table, the program offers sponsorships ranging from $500 to $5,000, with varying perks afforded to those who commit to an annual contribution at the Bronze ($500), Silver ($1,000), Gold ($2,500) or Diamond ($5,000) levels. Already, since the program's implementation late last year, two diamond, four gold, four silver and four bronze sponsors have stepped up, said Ann Marie Mathis. The mother of seven is CEO and founder of the Waukegan-based nonprofit whose flagship program is providing diapers to families in need.
Changing Table sponsors to date include:
DIAMOND ($5,000) Atturo Tire Corp., Waukegan Wiilcom, Gurnee GOLD ($2,500) Busey Bank, Glenview Equity Creative, Kenosha, Wisconsin Mowery & Schoenfeld, Lincolnshire Consumers Cooperative Association (Consumers Credit Union), Gurnee SILVER ($1,000) Superior Remodeling & Maintenance, Wadsworth Grand Foundation, Sturtevant, Wisconsin Plan B Advertising, Chicago Joyce Campbell BRONZE ($500) Great Rooms Designers & Builders Inc., Libertyville Bob's Discount Furniture, Manchester, Connecticut BNI Referrals Express, Gurnee Ace Hardware, Round Lake
"These sponsorships help us to keep our shelves stocked so we can provide families with the basics they need to thrive," Mathis said. "In each of the last two years, our distributions exceeded 1 million diapers, and the need just continues to grow. In 2021, we distributed about 100,000 diapers a month, serving 1,200 families and 1,800 children each month."
The National Diaper Bank Network, of which Keeping Families Covered is a member, estimates one in three U.S. families experiences diaper need. This can negatively affect babies' health as well as further strain struggling parents, who face difficulty holding down jobs or regularly attending school if they cannot provide an adequate supply of diapers to day-care operators.
The Changing Table sponsorship program came to fruition after Keeping Families Covered had to pull off the calendar for the last two years its premier, in-person fundraising event, Bottoms Up for Babies. And though the event is back on the calendar for this fall, the Changing Table offers a way for those supporting the mission of Keeping Families Covered to maintain not only high recognition at that event, but also a year-round connection.
"It's so important that we maintain community support, especially now," Mathis said. "Even though we buy in bulk and at a discount, like everyone, we've been hit with product and freight price increases." At the Diamond and Gold sponsorship levels, company logos are featured on the nonprofit's 16-foot trailer or box truck. Logos of top-level sponsors are featured on both. The trailer and truck are highly visible as they travel hundreds of miles each month to Keeping Families Covered mobile diaper pantry sessions in Gurnee, Grayslake, Waukegan, Highwood, Round Lake Park and Kenosha, Wisconsin. All sponsors have their name and logo posted on www.keepingfamiliescovered.org and enjoy social media mentions. Additionally, all receive exposure on a lobby-based TV at the facility's Waukegan offices and in Keeping Families Covered's diaper wrapping room, where volunteers package diapers as well as period supplies for distribution.
A special VIP Wrappy Hour is available to sponsors at the Diamond and Gold levels. For complete sponsorship level details and a sponsorship packet, visit www.keepingfamiliescovered.org.