Bob Basile and his friends used to exchange gifts for the holidays. One year, they started a new tradition, swapping presents for donations to support Channel 94.1’s annual diaper drive for Lydia House, the Open Door Mission’s women’s shelter.

“You know that old saying about giving being better than receiving?” Basile said. “It’s true.”

After joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) as an account specialist, Basile shared his diaper drive experience with coworkers and asked if they’d like to donate as well. They did, making it an annual tradition at BCBSNE for 13 years running.

“Every year, it gets bigger and bigger,” Basile said. “People here at BCBSNE have such big hearts.”

BCBSNE collected 10,564 diapers and 3,200 wipes in addition to making a monetary donation for 2019.

Basile said organizing the diaper drive is a team effort. BCBSNE storeroom employees help sort and load diapers onto a truck provided by Omaha Furniture Installers (OFI).

“OFI saw us doing this one year, and they said, ‘well, you can borrow our truck and our crew,’” Basile said. “They do that totally free for us. It’s amazing.”

Marla Headley, account implementation specialist, helps Basile keep track of donation numbers. She said she’s enjoyed being a part of the diaper drive for the last three years.

“It is such an amazing cause and feels good to give back to the community,” Headley said.

Basile agrees and said participating in the drive “means a lot.”

“When I look back on my career here, I’m not going to remember the paperwork and day-to-day stuff as much as I’m going to remember this,” Basile said. “The diaper drive and what it’s meant to me, our employees and our community is something I’m really proud to be a part of.”

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