Bessie and Lester McPeek are known throughout eastern Kentucky as the Diaper Lady and the Diaper Man. They wouldn’t want it any other way.
The McPeeks, who have been married for 24 years, started a unique diaper distribution and parent education ministry in Jenkins, Ky., in 2001. Since then, they have given away more than 2 million diapers to single moms, unemployed families and others in the economically troubled region who are struggling to make ends meet.
As the area’s once-thriving coal mines have gone out of business over the years, many former miners have lost their cars, homes and families. Like many places in the country, the rise in unemployment has been accompanied by an increase in drug trafficking, especially meth, which further complicates the region’s woes.
The McPeeks’ ministry, God’s Love from a Diaper Bag, provides diapers, food, baby showers, parenting classes, Bible studies and other resources to help ease families’ day-to-day challenges. Perhaps more significantly, it also offers hope, acceptance and a sense of worth for program recipients.
Baby showers for women in need
Working with volunteers from near and far who help keep the ministry supplied with needed donations and manpower, Bessie McPeek said God’s Love from a Diaper Bag often hosts baby showers for 35 to 40 women at a time.
“There’s nothing that’s more important than doing this for these mothers,” she emphasized. “It’s made a tremendous impact.”
She worked for the Kentucky Department of Welfare for 13 years before co-founding the diaper ministry with her husband. She said her work with the welfare department “showed me what the mothers needed and what they had gone through,” including a young mother “who came in one day and said she had just sold her wedding ring to buy her baby clothes and diapers.”
The McPeeks’ ministry efforts “are hard sometimes,” she acknowledged, “but I feel fortunate and blessed to be able to help these mothers.”
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Source: Baptist Standard