Nonprofit Provides Diapers, Wipes to Low-Income Families


Lance Benson noticed a gap in community resources for low-income families when he discovered many families struggle to afford essential items like diapers and wipes.

Benson, who works in property management, said he felt bad for tenants who said they were short on rent because they had to buy diapers.

“I would try to help the tenants find diapers in our community, but they would normally come back home with two diapers and two wet wipes, and they couldn’t go back for another month,” he said, later adding, “I was shocked our community didn’t have anything better than that.”

In an effort to help out, Benson founded Dry Tikes and Wet Wipes, a nonprofit organization that distributes diapers and wipes to families in need in the Olympia area.

About a year later, Benson rented out a small office next door to his property management office in Olympia. He started to ask for donations and kept it growing.

The organization has now expanded to a second location in Yelm at Ken McCulloch America Family Insurance at 609 Yelm Ave. W., Suite 4. Anyone who needs diapers or wipes can stop by between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Dry Tikes and Wet Wipes provide clients with a 20-pack of diapers each week and they do not turn anyone away. They also provide packs of wet wipes.

The nonprofit serves Thurston County and other neighboring counties like Lewis, Mason and Grays Harbor. It is entirely run by volunteers.

“There is a very great need for diapers,” Benson said. “We’ve heard so many stories of parents losing their jobs because they couldn’t bring their child to day care because the day care requires diapers and they didn’t have extra to bring. If the child doesn’t have child care, what do you do? You can’t use cloth diapers because day cares won’t accept cloth diapers, and many parents don’t have a washer and dryer.”

Benson added some parents who can’t afford diapers keep their child in an area with linoleum flooring so their kids can go to the bathroom at home, while parents clean up the mess.

“Other parents have opened up about being caught (and sometimes not caught) stealing diapers because they were so desperate,” Benson said.

After seven years of existence, the feedback for Dry Tikes and Wet Wipes has been overwhelmingly positive, Benson said, as parents have expressed their gratitude and relief for the organization’s help.

“Parents will often say, ‘I don’t know what we would have done without you,’” Benson said. “Some parents immediately grab the diapers and change their baby on the floor or run out to their car to change them because the baby has been in the diaper so long.”

Benson said some parents have even returned years later to donate money or boxes of diapers because they remember how much the organization helped them when they needed it.

Dry Tikes and Wet Wipes has become a mainstay community-led initiative that addresses a crucial need for low-income families. For more information on Dry Tikes and Wet Wipes or to find out how to donate, visit its website at

Both locations are open every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.