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Junior League is conducting a diaper donation drive for Toby’s House

Toby’s House Crisis Nursery
Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 20:28:14-05

GREAT FALLS — Junior League of Great Falls is sponsoring a Diaper Drive for Toby’s House Crisis Nursery, which provides short-term care for children ages 0-6 in a safe, nurturing environment for a few hours or all day, if needed, at no cost to families.

Toby’s House has been busy since it opened in December of 2020.

“The last eleven months have been busy at times. We have cared for almost 100 children in our time being open,” said director Susie Zeak. “We’ve seen very sad stories, we’ve seen great stories, we’ve seen inspirational stories and we just are so happy that we’re helping the children in Great Falls and keeping them safe.”

They don’t have everything they need, but the Junior League is helping solve that problem. They are sponsoring a diaper drive and donating diapers, pull-ups, and wet wipes to the nursery. The two are partnering together to help women and children in the community get out of tough situations.

The nursery is named in honor of October Perez, also known as Toby. She was two-years old when she was killed by her mother’s boyfriend in 2011. A decade later, the nursery created in her honor is working to help children in similar situations.

Toby's House

Zeak said the last eleven months have been rewarding and that she has learned a lot from her time with Toby’s House.

“There is a need for families to be supported. Everyone goes through difficult times. Everyone goes through crisis. And there are times when you need a little more support. And it feels really good to be able to offer that support to the community and to keep the children safe,” Zeak said.

The Junior League jumped to help back before the house even opened, in 2019, when they made a partnership that gives Toby's House $5,000 every year, and this is another way they pitch in to help.

Junior League's community impact director Amber Henning Griffith said the partnership allows both parties to fulfill their missions and help more people in Great Falls.

“One of the goals of Junior League and our partnership with Toby’s House is to promote Toby’s House in the best way that we can. This diaper drive is a prime example. I really think it just adds to our partnership,” Henning Griffith said. “Junior League is always striving to help women and children in our community and so this partnership with Toby’s House has been so wonderful in that we really get to fulfill our mission of helping children and families, women in this community succeed, and Toby’s House is a prime example of that.”

Currently, Toby’s House needs diapers and pull-ups of all sizes, as well as wet wipes and diaper-rash cream. From now through December 3rd, Junior League is asking the community to help fill this need by donating diapers in person or online.

Diaper donations can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • The Peak Health & Wellness – 1800 Benefis Court
  • Klover – 301 Central Avenue
  • McLaughlin Research Institute – 1520 23rd Street South

Online donations can be made by clicking here. There is also an Amazon wish list of other items needed by Toby's House. For more information about the diaper drive, contact Amber Henning Griffith at 406-590-0727 or at amber.henning.griffith@gmail.com.

The crisis nursery provides short-term care for children voluntarily brought there by a parent or legal guardian. There are many reasons why people utilize a crisis nursery for temporary child care or respite, including:

  • There is not a safe place for a child to stay while resolving personal issues
  • Someone is not capable of taking care of their child as they would like
  • An important appointment but no one safe to leave a child with
  • When stress and life’s problems are becoming too much to tolerate and could result in taking it out on a child or when someone feels they are losing control
  • Medical emergencies where a care-giver needs immediate assistance with temporary childcare
  • Mental health, substance abuse crisis
  • Foster care parent respite

The services provided by Toby’s House Crisis Nursery are free and require no qualifications to use. To learn more about Toby's House, or to volunteer or donate, click here to visit the website, or click here to visit the Facebook page. You can also call 406-770-3191‬ or email admin@tobyshousemt.org.

What is the Junior League? From the website:

The Junior League of Great Falls is a network of empowered female civic leaders working with community partners to address and solve pressing issues like child abuse and neglect. We’re part of an international network of 291 Leagues (AJLI) comprised of over 140,000 women, in Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S., engaged in similar work in their own communities. This provides us with a unique and powerful depth of knowledge and resourcefulness to bring about the changes we strive to accomplish.