Diapers are a necessity for every family with a baby, an expense that can cause a financial burden for many. One ministry in Hawkins County is now working to take the load off of parents just trying to make ends meet. 

The Heaven’s Bell Diaper Pantry in Church Hill officially opened their doors Monday after campaigning for donations for months. 

The pantry started distributing free diapers to families in need throughout the afternoon. 

“Diapers are extremely expensive, they are not covered under food stamps or WIC. Even mothers with good jobs limit the amount of diapers they use per day and that of course causes problems,” says the pantry’s founder, Tammy Johnson. 

Johnson was a nurse for 28 years. She recently quit her job to make running the diaper pantry her life’s mission. 

She understands the need for this type of ministry first-hand. 

“I know how it feels to not feel like you have enough money to stock up on diapers or baby food or whatever. My passion comes from my own experience. I remember those that gave me a hand up,” says Johnson. 

Recipients only need to prove they are a resident of Hawkins County and provide a proof of income and residency to show their financial need. 

“In Hawkins County we are at a 19 percent poverty level. That’s pretty high and it’s actually the highest in the state of Tennessee,” says Johnson. 

Over 9,000 diapers had been donated on Monday before the grand opening, which Heaven’s Bell says will fly out the door quickly. 

Late Pastor Derek Bell was the inspiration for the new outreach. Bell lead First Free Will Baptist in Church Hill and founded CrossPoint Church in Kingsport. 

“Pastor Derek Bell had a vision to help the needy and the vulnerable. He had several things in mind and when he died and I wanted to do something that would allow his legacy to live on,” says Johnson. 

Johnson says to keep the diaper pantry open and operating, they are relying on donations from the community. They are asking people to drop off boxes of diapers, size newborn to size six, at the pantry at 401 Richmond Street in Church Hill. 

They also greatly benefit from monetary donations as those can be used to buy diapers in bulk. Donations can be made on their website. 

Heaven’s Bell is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. 

Through all of this, they not only want to distribute diapers, they want to spread a message. 

“Of course we want to meet your needs for diapers, but we also want to share the love of Christ through that process,” says Johnson. 

Guidelines for those who wish to receive diapers from the pantry can be found here.