Diaper dilemma

Kristin Finklestein, ’07, and Maya Ammons, ’06, founders of ShareBaby, at their warehouse
ShareBaby founders, Kristin Finkelstein, ’07, left, and Maya Ammons, ’06
Photograph by Stephen Voss

Remember the toilet paper shortage of 2020? Now imagine it never ended. That’s the unfortunate reality in this country for many families trying to keep up with their children’s need for diapers.

It’s called “diaper need.” Families cannot always afford enough diapers to keep their babies clean, dry, and healthy. Two Spiders — Kristin Finkelstein, ’07, and Maya Ammons, ’06 — joined forces to combat this unmet need from a 9,000-square-foot warehouse in Baltimore. The nonprofit they created, ShareBaby, distributes 200,000 diapers each month. ShareBaby also offers a pantry of baby supplies to more than 60 community partners.

Finkelstein and Ammons were both moms with surplus baby supplies when they realized there were no organizations that accepted those items as donations.

“Maya and I were talking with our friend and third co-founder, Kate Mumaw, about the lack of organizations that accepted baby gear and clothing,” Finkelstein says. “We did some research and discovered Baltimore had a huge need for children's items but no way to get new and gently used items to those families.” The trio reached out to friends and began collecting these supplies in their garages to take to the local organizations that needed them.

“That was how we started back in 2014,” Finkelstein says. “But now we’ve moved into a fully functional warehouse with five full-time staff members.”

But what Finkelstein recalls most fondly is how she and Ammons met. “It was my first day of freshman year. Maya was a sophomore, and she heard I was also from Baltimore. She came to my dorm building and found my room. We became close friends throughout college. ShareBaby wouldn't have happened had Maya not come to find me.”

Ammons agrees, emphasizing that establishing and sustaining collegiate connections has been incredibly valuable. “I would have never imagined during our time at Richmond that we would have gotten together post-college and created such a beneficial organization for the Baltimore community,” Ammons says. “We are proud of our Richmond educations and so grateful that the school brought us together. We encourage everyone to stay connected. You never know what can come from it.”