WINTER GARDEN Sharon Lyles started fulfilling a basic need for single mothers nearly 18 years ago when she learned many of them could get baby formula through government subsidy programs but not diapers.
Lacking ample supplies, Lyles said, babies were sitting in wet and soiled diapers too long. And, without diapers, mothers couldn’t leave their children in daycare.
Through her nonprofit organization in Winter Garden, Second Chance Resource Center, she collects and distributes diapers, hygiene supplies, clothing and formula to keep babies healthy and thriving. She started Second Chance in 1997 as a mentoring program for teenage mothers and provided diapers and clothing for the babies.
The agency’s mission changed three years ago to assist single-parent families in Central Florida by providing diapers to infants and toddlers. Gabrielle Randle, Lyles’ daughter, joined the board in 2007 and is the organization’s vice president.
“This organization was inspired with the belief that all children should receive quality care and have basic baby essentials,” Lyles said. “There was no specific social service program in our local community to address the need of single-parent families being able to provide their infants and toddlers with diapers and other basic baby essentials.
“As a result, single-parent households are forced to make tough choices about providing basic needs for their children like buying groceries or diapers, providing a place to stay and paying utilities,” she said. “You probably guessed that buying food or paying rent and utilities takes priority over purchasing diapers.”
Lyles gives out the diapers and supplies for free, so she is always in need of fresh supplies.
Winter Garden City Hall and Curves Winter Garden served as drop-off sites for a monthlong diaper drive that collected 2,655 diapers. Lyles said this supply would last about two-and-one-half months.
It’s not too late to help, though. Andrea Vaughn, community relations manager for the city, said diapers can be dropped off year-round at City Hall. A $20 donation buys diapers for four babies.
“I, like many, get energized by all the selfless work our residents do for others, so when I have the opportunity to help, it is an honor to do so,” Vaughn said.
City Manager Mike Bollhoefer agreed.
“Creating different charity drives brings an awareness ... about current community needs and an opportunity to assist our neighbors,” he said. “We look forward to those drives that focus on the non-profit organization and their missions that dovetail with a better quality of life for all Winter Garden residents.”
Volunteers also can make a difference, and there are many opportunities to help. This includes sponsoring an event, sponsoring a family or distributing fliers.
Second Chance Resource Center is at 1041 Crown Park Circle, Winter Garden. For more, call (407) 656-7055.
- Diapers: sizes 3, 4, 5 and 6
- Pull-Ups: all sizes
- Diaper wipes
- Formula: most requested are Enfamil Gentlease and Similac Sensitive
- Baby and toddler foods
- Clothing: newborn to size 24 months
To make a donation, call Sharon Lyles at (407) 656-7055.
Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].