WILMINGTON (CBS) – Located north of Boston between 128 and 495, Wilmington was a major contributor to the beer industry as the nation’s largest producer of Hops in the 1800s. Now it’s the Massachusetts home of the Shriners, a fraternal organization known for its pediatric hospitals.
This bedroom community is also home to a woman who has become known as the “Diaper Queen”. Her name is Paula Borges-Stalker and her garage is stacked with dozens, and sometimes hundreds of cases of diapers.
Each month Paula gives away diapers to needy families from Lowell to Boston and just about everywhere in between.
“They are not subsidized by any government programs. So you can get formula and food through WIC and other programs, but diapers are not covered,” she explained.
Her mission started about three years ago when she volunteered at a shelter and asked if she could bring anything and they said diapers are always needed.
“They told me that they ration their diapers and they give each family eight diapers a week. Regardless of how many children you have, you only get eight diapers? So I just became enraged,” she said.
She turned that anger into action and reached out on social media to ask friends and neighbors for help. Before she knew it, cases of diapers started stacking up on her porch. Her efforts have continued since then and she just recently hit a milestone.
“[I have] collected a million diapers and distributed a million diapers which is no easy feat.”
Paula brings diapers to a food pantry in Everett where people wait for hours in line for them. She also hand delivers diapers to families in need. She even keeps track of her deliveries so she can replenish without the families having to ask.
We went along as Paula delivered a case of diapers and wipes to Kim CIanciulli, a single mother of 14-month old twins.
“Diapers are expensive,” she said after greeting Paula with a hug. “There’s been times when I say, ‘can I get diapers or do I pick up my medicine?’”
Paula says she is simply the middle-man and it’s the generosity of local residents and businesses that makes all this possible.
“They send diapers whenever I need it,” she said. “I can’t say a big enough thank you to them.”
Paula has now expanded her operation to include formula, bottles, even clothes for every season.
The need, she told us, is constant and so is the generosity of her community. Paula says she’s just grateful to be the conduit.
“I just love it. Knowing I had a little part in that child’s life makes me happy.”
If you would like to help, Paula has a wish-list set up on Amazon. You can easily send a box right to her home using this link.