Incoming Palmetto High School junior Emily Cohen has made an impact through her work for the Miami Diaper Bank Organization. She collects new disposable diapers to be donated to low-income struggling families with babies.
“Diapers are not funded by the government. They are taxed and they are expensive. I collect them and they are distributed through the Diaper Bank to those in need”, she says.
Moms can’t afford to skimp on diapers by cutting back on how many they use each day. This can cause serious health implications in babies such as painful diaper rash, infections and in worst cases kidney damage or even death. In fact, day care centers require families to provide at least 8 disposable diapers per day.
“It is not really talked about, not everyone realizes how important diapers are,” she says.
Many struggling families are forced to choose between food and diapers on a daily basis.
Cohen hosted her first diaper drive last December at school. She ran the collection drive through Key Club, since she was the Sophomore Class Director. (She is now serving as Assistant Treasurer.)
The drive brought in approximately 600 diapers to be donated.
“We had every brand in every size. It was amazing,” she says.
She is currently planning another holiday diaper drive this coming year, diapers for donuts, as well as working on other innovative ideas to raise awareness. Emily also volunteers at different community events for the Miami Diaper Bank.
“Any event that can bring people together and raise awareness, the goal is to get the most diapers possible,” she says.
Cohen plans to continue to be involved with the Miami Diaper Bank and pass the program onto her younger sister.
At Palmetto, she’s the Vice president of Fundraising for the class of 2021. She was previously a member of the cabinet. As Vice President she works on fundraisers that fund junior class events such as the ring ceremony. She is involved with event planning as well.
Emily is Vice President of the English Honors Society. This year she hopes to start an English Honors Society Book Club. The book club would meet once a month.
“I’d like to have more school wide book drives”, she says.
As a member of the Spanish Honors Society, she goes to the Old Cutler Presbyterian Church to help package food for the homeless.
“Volunteers usually have chips and sandwiches already made. We put bags together and go downtown to the homeless shelter and hand them out,” she says.
She volunteers each year for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s Everything But the Turkey event to help make sure Miami’s homeless families have a Thanksgiving meal.
Cohen is also a member of the National Honor Society.
Outside of Palmetto, she is very involved with the Temple Beth Am Youth Group, BAFTY. Emily holds the position of Communications Vice president. She’s in charge of recruiting new members and communicating with members about events through different social media networks.
Through BAFTY, Emily volunteers her time helping to plan their big fundraiser, Jog for Jenny, raising money for their NFTY philanthropy. This 5k Walk/Run benefits Camp Jenny, a weekend camp experience for underprivileged inner city youth.
Emily won the Core Values Award her Freshman Year. This award recognizes students who give of themselves while upholding core values of honesty, cooperation, integrity, kindness, fairness, responsibility, respect, citizenship and pursuit of excellence. They epitomize what being a Palmetto Panther is all about.
This past spring, she also won the PTSA Leadership and Service Award for her outstanding service and good work.
Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld