When our daughter was born, we received an unexpected gift: diapers. Not just one box, but a note to tell us that my husband’s aunt and uncle would be purchasing ALL of her diapers, until she no longer needed them. Since she was our third child, and we had already spent what seemed like our kids’ college funds on our first two rounds of diapers, this gift was HUGE. Two years later, we are still using this gift with thankful hearts.
Diapers are expensive, and if you are a parent, you know how many just one child goes through per day. During the newborn phase a baby can go through up to ten diapers a day. For low-income families, not only is the purchase of diapers overwhelming, but the daily expense of child-rearing is daunting.
Enter the Texas Diaper Bank. Formed in 1997, the Texas Diaper Bank was established to “to provide services and resources to respond to families in crisis in Bexar County and improve the daily conditions of their lives.” Their aim was to bring physical and social aid through the distribution of health supplies and offering healthy child education classes.
Fast forward to the present: In 2016, they have distributed over 1.25 MILLION health supplies and served 9,000 children, seniors, and those with disabilities. In short, they are meeting their goals. The SA community is responding and those in need are receiving help. A while back, they partnered with Kimberly-Clark so that the organization is able to purchase diapers for only 16 cents each. One mother who receives services commented, “I was able to save on diapers and have money to purchase groceries.“ After all, you can’t use food stamps to buy diapers.
Even more significant than supplying diapers to those less fortunate, the Texas Diaper Bank is taking huge steps to care for these families and babies in a holistic way. Here’s how:
- No money for diapers = infrequent diaper change
- Infrequent diaper change = diaper rash
- Diaper rash = serious skin disease
- Serious skin disease = doctor visits or even hospitalization
- Doctor and hospital visits = increased cost of health care for baby’s family
And even more importantly, when a baby suffers diaper rash or is left in a wet diaper due to insufficient funds, he or she grows irritable. We all know what the “witching hour” looks like and how difficult it is to remain patient with fussy babies and toddlers. For underprivileged, uneducated parents, however, they are often not equipped to know how to parent in high-stress situations. A child who is crying incessantly might provoke his parent to violence. Most often, when a diaper is not changed, an infant will cry; something as small as a wet diaper can have dire consequences.
This year, the Texas Diaper Bank kicked off its “Million Diapers for Babies” campaign. Their goal is to raise one million diapers by the end of October. Here’s how YOU can help:
Diaper Drive: Talk to your child’s school about starting a diaper drive in October. Better yet, encourage your child to start a diaper drive at school. This is an easy way for parents to donate unused diapers—any brand, any size. And more importantly, it’s a great way to open your child’s eyes to helping the community.
Change Drive: Same as starting a diaper drive, except encourage students to collect change. The Diaper Bank uses the final total collected to purchase diapers at only 16 cents a diaper.
Learn More: Log on to http://www.texasdiaperbank.org to find out about how to volunteer or donate online. The website also highlights the numerous programs the Diaper Bank offers the community.