LOGAN – Experience told Ted and Stefanee Chalfant there was a need for supplies for families that receive foster kids and teens. Foster kids go to families with only the clothes on their back.
“I grew up with foster kids in my home and they didn’t come with anything they needed,” Ted said. “We wanted to do something about that. We started a foundation, Little Lambs, a foundation for kids and began to make Comfort Kits in the basement of our Nibley home. We were also being asked for extra diapers from some folks, so we knew there was a need to start a diaper bank.”
“There is another Diaper Bank in Salt Lake, but other agencies pick up the diapers,” he continued. “We are the only diaper bank in the state that can pick up diapers from our warehouse.”
“We have businesses donate diapers, we have a few financial donations and we hold diaper drives,” Stefanee said. “We put out the word for things we need and people buy stuff and bring it in.”
A Comfort Kit is an overnight backpack stuffed with a couple of toys, a blanket, toiletries, pajamas, books and other needs.
“Within the first 30 days, we had four counties wanting what we had. We deliver diapers and Comfort Kits all over the state from our Logan warehouse, located at 1125 West 400 North Suite 200. Most of the people we help are living beneath the poverty level.”
Ted gave up a career as a real estate agent to work 60 plus hours in the 501c he and his wife formed. He said the community is awesome.
“We are fortunate to live in a county where people are so generous,” he said. “Last year, we had over 1,000 volunteers and we delivered 2,400 Comfort Kits.”
Jay Stocking, of Sierra Homes, found them a small warehouse and helps with the rent.
“We have 214 monthly clients with children that need diapers,” Ted said. “It helps these people with diaper needs; many of them are having a hard time. We try to help children and families out.”
People come due to a referral from a doctor’s office, people with financial issues, job loss, illness, there are many reasons.
“Some are hardworking people who have jobs but are not making enough to survive. Last year we provided 372,000 diapers for foster care all over the state.”
Parents come in under humble circumstances and they try to lift them up. They had someone come in that was using T-shirts for diapers for almost a week because they couldn’t afford diapers.
They deliver the comfort kits all over, from 30 to 60 kits to each DFS office throughout the state.
They never feel like they are being taken advantage of. People that go to the Little Lambs warehouse go to get help. They are grateful to get any kind of assistance.
“We operate just like a food pantry. We work on pennies. Sometimes we use our own gas to deliver stuff to all parts of the state if we can’t find anyone going that way,” she said. “We live off small grants and are always looking for ways to fund our program.”
She said the government treats diapers as luxury items, so food stamps and welfare won’t cover the cost of them.