NEW BRUNSWICK — Many young families in New Jersey can be categorized as being in "temporary distress" — they have perhaps one child, but the mother is unable to return to work, or either she, the child's father, or both have lost their jobs. In advance of Mother's Day, that's where a Central Jersey group is coming in to lend a helping hand.

The New Brunswick-based Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation is the only diaper bank in the Middlesex County area, and the organization provides not only those disposable diapers to struggling families, but also baby wipes, formula, and clothes whenever possible.

Deborah Cherniss, AECDC president, said the families who come to them are usually referred from agencies like churches or other clergy groups in their time of need.

"We don't have people just walking in off the street and getting things from us. There's a referral process, and we know that this is a real problem time for them," she said. "This happens often for reasons beyond people's control. A lot of our clients have lost jobs, they've been laid off."

With only one part-time, paid staffer, the largely volunteer membership of AECDC is working hard this season to promote its Adopt a Mom campaign, a donation drive in which contributors can sign up for any one of several different dollar amounts to give the gift of diapers and other materials. In April, for instance, the organization received more than 60 requests for these items.

Most families that AECDC helps only come to them one time, but that one occurrence can be enough to tide them over until their situations improve, according to Cherniss. The group also has partnerships through which they distribute baby boxes and other medical supplies like wheelchairs and walkers.

To get involved with the Adopt a Mom drive, visit aecdc.org or call (732) 296-9922.

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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