Girls sold desserts for diapers

By Michelle Martin | Staff writer
Sunday, January 26, 2014

Katherine Jaros and Claire Kelly, students at Sacred Heart School in Winnetka, help volunteers pass out goods and turkeys to feed nearly 600 families for Thanksgiving at St. Columbanus Church on Nov. 27, 2013. Five years ago Bronwen Malles and Liz Satter, sixth-graders at Sacred Heart School in Winnetka, took action to help young mothers at St. Columbanus Food Pantry by providing diapers and wipes. Jaros and Kelly are part of a group continuing the program. (Karen Callaway/Catholic New World)

Diapers are expensive, no two ways about it. And for the mothers who rely on the food pantry at St. Columbanus Parish, 331 E. 71st St., for help, buying them can be a stretch.

That’s something that Liz Satter and Bronwen Malles learned from an article in the Chicago Tribune in 2008, when both were sixth-graders at Sacred Heart School in Winnetka. So they decided to do something about it.

They and three other friends planned a bake sale at their parish, called it “Desserts for Diapers,” and they were off. After buying diapers, the girls personally brought them to the food pantry, a tradition they have maintained ever since.

Since the girls went to high school, they have started a “succession plan,” recruiting younger girls from Sacred Heart to carry on the project, said Ann Satter, the mother of Liz Satter and new recruit Celia Satter. While the younger girls do much of the work, the founders, as it were, are still involved.

That first year, the bake sale raised somewhere between $500 and $700, Satter said. This year, it raised more than $2,000, enough to buy about three dozen cases of diapers, at cost, through a connection at Sacred Heart Parish. The girls then packaged diapers and wipes and delivered them to St. Columbanus.

Liz Satter and Bronwen Malles now are both sophomores at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, and Ann Satter said the “Desserts for Diapers” projects fits with what they are learning about the importance of service as part of social justice at the Jesuit school. It’s also taught them about commitment, perseverance and working together, even as they have become active in different groups and sports.


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