When she moved to America's Hometown about 1 1/2 years ago, Kayla Grier recognized an urgent need within the community, leading to a successful September diaper drive benefitting victims of Hurricane Harvey.

When she moved to America's Hometown about 1 1/2 years ago, Kayla Grier recognized an urgent need within the community, leading to a successful September diaper drive benefitting victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Grier moved to Hannibal from Springfield, Mo., where she performed bookkeeping duties for a diaper bank. Child care and helping babies have been longtime passions for Grier, culminating in her new nonprofit organization, The Children's Diaper Depot. With the help of donations from friends, family members, local businesses and organizations, Grier collected 54 ounces of baby formula, 616 wipes and 2,014 diapers in 1 1/2 weeks. She prepared to ship the supplies out Friday, Sept. 15 to help victims from Hurricane Harvey through the Texas Diaper Bank.

According to the National Diaper Bank Network , 25 percent of infants born in Missouri are recipients of benefits from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, compared to 23 percent of infants nationwide. Grier noted that hurricane relief efforts didn't include diapers — which account for more than 27 percent of household costs for a single parent with two children who receives assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The National Diaper Bank Network reported that 10 Missouri diaper banks distribute 1,606,151 diapers annually to families throughout the state. Grier's daughter was eager to join the cause, too.

Grier said her 4 1/2-year-old daughter, Elsie, enjoyed helping throughout the drive — performing tasks like unloading the diapers.

“I think she really developed an understanding that we were helping other people, and she's really interested in it, just genuine about it,” Grier said. “She just loves babies and helping babies. That's good to see, too, and it's a good way for us to bond.”

Grier said she was thankful for the community's outpouring of support, which she said reflected the need for baby supplies in the Hannibal area along with regions hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Local donors included the Hannibal YMCA, HNB Bank, The Children's Center, local residents and members of the online Facebook Marketplace.

Grier's dedication and compassion to helping babies and children will soon expand with two local projects: The Discover Montessori School and the Made With Love Organics Baby Food company. She said she felt inspired by the local generosity that made her diaper drive such a success.

“I feel so overwhelmed with generosity and support,” Grier said.

Grier said she looks forward to reaching out to local organizations that provide family services such as WIC, so she can directly help children and their families in need. For more information about Grier's efforts or to get involved, please email Grier with Children's Diaper Depot at childrensdiaperdepot@gmail.com . More information about Discover Montessori School is available at discovermontessori2017@gmail.com , Made With Love Baby Food can be reached at madewithlovebabyfood@gmail.com .

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com