Tangella Colston, the director and owner of 4C’s Child Care in Madison Heights, and David Soltis, a member of the Madison Heights City Council, sort through donations of diapers and other child-rearing supplies at the day care July 31. The items are for a “diaper bank” to support parents. Donations will be continuously needed.

Tangella Colston, the director and owner of 4C’s Child Care in Madison Heights, and David Soltis, a member of the Madison Heights City Council, sort through donations of diapers and other child-rearing supplies at the day care July 31. The items are for a “diaper bank” to support parents. Donations will be continuously needed.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Donations needed for ‘diaper bank’ to help families raising kids

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published August 7, 2019

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MADISON HEIGHTS — A city councilman in Madison Heights has teamed up with a local day care to start distributing donated diapers, baby formula, wipes and other items to parents who are raising young children and could use some help covering these expenses. 

The councilman, David Soltis, hopes this “diaper bank” will snowball into something larger — attracting more donations and more partnerships, and reaching more people in need. 

The idea was borne of a concern Soltis has studied since his first term in 2013. Around that time, he made presentations to the council on the issue of child poverty, highlighting U.S. census data that showed how more than 70% of single mothers with kids ages 5 and younger were living in poverty in the area during the five years prior. 

“That was a troubling trend for me when I first discovered it,” Soltis said. “So I’ve been thinking about what we can do to help offset some of the expense for single moms or parents living in poverty. And what I’ve found is that other charitable organizations aren’t providing enough help. 

“I myself was a father of three, starting out kind of young, but fortunately our in-laws helped out with some expenses,” he said. “It’s still a huge expense on top of everything else, though, especially if it’s a single mom trying to work.” 

How to help, and get help

The needed items include all of the essentials for raising a child, including diapers, formula, wipes, sippy cups and more. Other items such as toys and books will also be accepted. All of these items are meant to help defray the cost of raising a child, which can get very expensive very quickly. 

Those who’d like to donate can do so by texting or calling Soltis directly on his cellphone: (248) 219-6381. Alternatively, they can drop the items off at Madison Heights City Hall, 300 W. 13 Mile Road. One can also donate money at City Hall, including checks made out to “City of Madison Heights,” with “Diaper Bank” written on the memo line. 

Those in need of items for their own children can call the councilman at the same number. Soltis said the program aims to protect people’s privacy. 

Soltis said that the initial donations were made by one “extremely generous person” whom he wasn’t sure he could identify. He said that this person attended a council meeting earlier in the summer when Soltis made a presentation about children’s issues in the community.

“She approached me wanting to help,” Soltis said. “I then took her generous donations and partnered up with a local day care as a starting point.”

That local day care is 4C’s Child Care, located at 31499 John R Road in Madison Heights. Tangella Colston, the director and owner, agreed to take the initial donation and connect those resources with families in the area who have a financial need. 

“I would love to help continue supporting this campaign, and to be involved donating as many items as we can,” Colston said. “Being in the child care industry, I see many families that express need in one way or another. So having items donated would definitely help those families get through those hardships.” 

Soltis said he’s hopeful that other organizations will take interest in this effort and get involved. Half of the battle is collecting the items to be distributed; the other half is finding the people in need who may be too busy working and raising kids to know that the opportunity is available.

The councilman also said he is thinking about trying to start a community support group for parents to meet with each other and share tips about child rearing. He said this could be especially helpful for young parents just starting out, when raising kids can seem most overwhelming.

“I just want these parents to know that they’re not the only ones going through this stuff, and that there are other families with things in common, and you can vent to them,” Soltis said. 

The councilman urged everyone to donate to the diaper bank or give their time if they can.

“The more  people who donate, the more young children in need who will benefit,” he said.   

For more information, call City Councilman David Soltis at (248) 219-6381.   

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