Gentle Love Diaper Pantry was founded in June of 2020 by Kyle Zingler, a senior at Manchester High School, with the support of his classmates Alexandra Hamza, Jabari Murphy, and his sister Julia Zingler and her close friend, Sylvia Squatrito.
One day in early April 2020, Kyle’s mother, who works for Vernon Public Schools, expressed her struggles connecting a mother in a domestic violence incident with diapers. Kyle was motivated to solve this injustice after learning that there were no diaper or baby supply pantries accessible to families in his community. Diapers had also been hard to come by due to material shortages and disruptions within the supply chain. Additionally, federal assistance programs like SNAP and WIC do not cover or defray the cost of diapers which amount to significant expense for families, costing on average $70-80 a month per a child. He held his first diaper drive on June 11, 2020 which collected over 17,000 diapers and since then the initiative has grown into a full scale, youthled nonprofit with diapers being distributed through four community partners (The Bridge Food Pantry, the Manchester Public Schools Welcome Center, Hockanum Valley Community Council and the ECHN Family Development Center). Over 90,000 diapers and 87,000 wipes have been distributed to marginalized, low income families. However our work is only beginning.
Our Youth Team
Alexandra (Vice Chair) is a senior at Manchester High School. She was a member of the Class of 2022 Class Board for two years and is currently a member of the Student Equity Advisory Team which educates students on racial problems and their possible solutions. In the Manchester Community, Alexandra has been involved in the Manchester Rebuilding Together program, and has volunteered in the summer at day camps around town. She is also the treasurer on the Manchester Youth Commission, a group of Manchester Youth giving a voice to the youth in the town government decisions. When not helping out around school or in her local community Alexandra runs for the Manchester High School Cross Country team, reads and is involved in the variety of clubs offered at her high School. She is also a member of the FA Verplanck Chapter of the National Honor Society.
Kyle (Chair) is a senior at Manchester High School and has been actively involved in his community from a young age. Kyle participates in year round productions with CAST Children’s Theatre and is a Eagle Scout with Troop 27 at St. Mary’s Church. Giving back to his community feels like second nature to him, and he decided to establish Gentle Love Diaper Pantry in Manchester, CT to help families in his community facing unmatched economic and psychological pain. He serves on the Manchester Youth Commission and is a Peace First Ambassador for the US and Canada. At Manchester High School, he is a member of SEAT (Student Equity and Advisory Team), the FA Verplanck Chapter of the National Honor Society and Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble.
Sylvia (Co-Secretary) is a junior at Manchester High School. She was a member of the Manchester High JV basketball team her freshman year. She participates in the PAWS club which helps raise money and awareness for local animal shelters. Every summer she volunteers at the annual MARC golf tournament which raises money to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. When not in school she plays AAU basketball with her team, competing in tournaments around the country.
Jabari Murphy (Board Member at Large) is a sixteen year old life-long resident of Manchester who is a senior at Manchester High School. Jabari plays the alto saxophone and is involved in the music program at Manchester High School, performing with the Jazz Band, Concert Band, and Marching Band. He is also a member of the FA Verplanck Chapter of the National Honor Society. He is a frequent volunteer in Hartford at Center Church’s Soup Kitchen. Jabari is excited to join Gentle Love Diaper Pantry and sees the value in helping families in need with diapers.
Julia (Co-Secretary) is sixteen years old and a junior at Manchester High School and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Julia loves to dance and has been dancing at Northstar Academy for 11 years. She is a member of the dance competition team and a teaching assistant. She has also participated in CAST Children’s Theatre productions since second grade. Julia loves to help others and is excited to be a part of this organization.