Category: Diaper Drive

Cloth Diapers and the Diaper Gap

When I talk to people about the diaper gap, so basically anyone who makes eye contact with me, the conversation naturally turns to cloth diapering. I agree – cloth diapering is a great alternative, but in practice it isn’t an option for those struggling to supply diapers. Here’s why:

  • They require an initial investment. I have always used disposables, so I did some searching and found out that Trent Hamm at the Simple Dollar did the math for me by enlisting Carrie from the Dangerous Crayon. Here’s her results:

Year 1, Cloth – $930.08
Year 1, Disposables – $858.83

Year 2, Cloth – $1154.63
Year 2, Disposables – $1354.25

  • Most daycare centers don’t allow cloth diapers. Which makes total sense.
  • Not everyone has access to a washer/dryer and some laundromats don’t allow washing cloth diapers in their machines for sanitary reasons. Also, while you sit at the laundromat there is a child to think about – entertain them or find a sitter.
  • There’s the time factor – regardless of income or situation, time is a critical consideration for any parent. Some parents are working multiple jobs, or have to travel to launder the diapers and there often just isn’t enough time.

There are quite a few cloth diaper banks based on my quick Google search, but right now the practical solution is to help provide diapers to low income families to quickly solve their immediate need. To help out, visit my Go Fund Me page or the 12 4 1 Diaper Drive page.

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Saint Martin’s Ministries

Last year I was humbled to deliver 8100 diapers (and thousands of wipes) to St. Martin’s Ministries in Ridgely Maryland. Those diapers went to Saint Martin’s House,  a transitional residence where homeless women and children can work towards self-sufficiency in a safe and stable environment.

St. Martin’s house opened 17 years ago  and has been home to more than 600 women and children. The average cost of housing residents in a one-year period is $55,000 and while they are staying there, they learn parenting, budgeting, and household management skills. They are also offered counseling services and assistance preparing for their  GED, enroll in college courses, and find employment and permanent housing.

I am happy to be able to serve such a vital organization where I grew up. This year we are going for 10,000 diapers and partnering with Choptank Transport. Find out more here, or to donate money visit my Go Fund Me page.

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Small Blessings

Something really cool happened yesterday. I had two visitors from DC’s News Channel 8!

Let me back up.

When I did my diaper drive back in March, S. reached out to the media to get some traction there. Flash forward to Monday. He got a call from the intern at News Channel 8 and they were interested in featuring me and my diapers in a segment called Paying it Forward. By 11AM on Tuesday I was sitting in front of a camera in Mike’s nursery with Kathy Park, an on air anchor.

I was really nervous hoping I got my fact straight, I explained myself well enough to convey the importance of this issue. I was really surprised when I felt very passionate and knowledgeable and excited. I never imagined I would be passionate about diapers, but here I am on a soapbox (or recliner) on the news!

I was also able to talk about my blog – how I started and why I started. I hope to get a few more readers to hold myself accountable to blogging more often. Sister Patricia from St. Martin’s Ministries also got involved and I hope they are going to get some more, must needed, community awareness.

It is probably going to air on Thursday, June 26th, but I will keep you posted.

Want to hear the best part? Everyone featured gets $500 to support their cause. $500. I am still surprised and SO excited. That’s a lot of diapers!

So this is my question to you. Do you know anyone who needs some help with diapers? We all need help, but someone who might be reusing disposable diapers or not changing their baby as often as they should. Help me use this money to serve wisely. Email me at jackie@muddlingmomma.com with their name/address/size diapers. I will, of course, keep this anonymous. 

 

Speechless

This is probably going to be a sappy post and I could make lots of excuses why I am being sappy – including a baby who won’t sleep through the night or a long weekend traveling, but it really comes down to the fact I am so overwhelmed, overjoyed and any other ‘over’ word you can think of.

I’ve been kinda hush hush on the total amount of diapers for my diaper drive because they just kept coming in right and left to different locations and I couldn’t keep up with them. Today was delivery day and I did a total count.

With your help, I collected 8053 diapers from size preemie to 5, 7968 baby wipes and 42 tubes of diaper rash cream.

That. Is. Amazing. 

I wish everyone who donated, either in diapers, money, time, good thoughts, or Facebook shout outs could have been there with me today when we went to St. Martin’s Ministries in Ridgely, Maryland. To feel the outpouring of gratitude and hear the stories of who these diapers will help – well that’s a feeling that I can’t put into words and won’t soon forget. Sister Patricia told me that she just had someone they serve ask her for size 5 diapers and she had to tell her the truth – they didn’t have any. Also, she told me, that when they get a box of diapers, they have to open it up to divide the contents to hand out to a few families. With our donation she can hand out boxes.

For those of us who are parents, we know how important diapers are and what a relief it is to know we can fulfill a simple (and expensive) need. We (I say ‘we’ because I donated 100. YOU donated much more) donated enough diapers for 671 days. My goal of 3100 diapers was doubled, then passed.

I’ve done some pretty cool things in my life, but this experience has been one of the most rewarding and inspiring. Thank you for not only helping me with this project, but for all those dry tushies. I am forever grateful.

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Diaper Drive Update

I am knee deep in diapers and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t even mind the boxes are stacked so tall they block a lot of our big window. People have been SO generous in listening to why I am passionate about this situation and then in giving. I’ve gotten diapers or cash from people I literally met 2 weeks ago and people I’ve known my whole life and haven’t spoken to in years. And they keep coming!

As you might have guessed, I’ve surpassed my goal before the month of March even started. It’s time for new goal! I am shooting for 6,000 diapers by 3/31. I currently have a whopping 3,248 with sizes ranging from premie to 6. If you are keeping track, that’s 354 days of diapers. My new goal is 6,000 diapers. If you are looking to make a donation, we need sizes 4 and up, but anything is very much appreciated.

I also used some of the cash donations to purchase wipes (80 packs) and diaper rash cream (30 tubes). I am so excited to have been able to make these purchases for Caroline County Social Services.

I can’t begin to thank you enough, but we still have some more to go, so please pass this on to your friends and family. You’ve truly rendered me speechless and humbled.

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I’ve updated the donor list – a thousand thank yous!

An Update

It’s Saturday right? Good grief what a week! Here’s all the details:

So I started my new job at Main Street Genome on Wednesday and it was a great day! I managed the commute in, but on the way home it took FOREVER. I had a bit of a meltdown, probably from being tired, overwhelmed and lost in DC (thank GPS. Thanks.). I pretty much had convinced myself that Mike would never know me because he would be asleep by the time I got home. And I didn’t want to be one of those mommas who work 12 hours a day and are content putting the baby to bed before catch the train back to the office. As always, that is fine for other mommas, but not me. S. talked me off the ledge (of course) and my commute times were much better the rest of the week. Plus, there is the idea that in a few weeks or so it won’t be every day. That, I can handle.

The team is great, and from what I gather no one discussed my wardrobe. Or if they did I didn’t hear about it. It’s very much a start up culture – jump in and get sh*t done. There’s a learning curve, but that’s to be expected. S. and I are figuring out the best organizational skills for us to be on top of things at home and he has been AH-MAZING this week picking up Mike from daycare, managing Charlie and getting as much done before I get home as possible. And doing it with a smile, which I always appreciate. We make a good team.

So … the diaper drive!

Guys, I am so humbled and touched by the outpouring of diapers, cash and notes. This idea sorta came out of nowhere, but the longer I look at the diapers stacked in my living room,the madder I get about the situation and the more fired up I get to do something. Especially every time I change Mike’s diaper. I can’t imagine ‘letting it dry out’ and putting it back on. I digress ….

As of today, I have 1252 diapers – almost half way to my goal! And if you count the $281 in donations I have, it might be safe to say I am more than half way there!! S. has been helping get the word out and Bruce Leshan from WUSA9 tweeted out the blog link and I got a few more hits. There is still more than a month to help me reach my goal of 3100 diapers by the end of March!
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Diapers are Not a Privilege

Sometimes I read something interesting and it sticks with me, nagging me to act. This article from Kveller (Mayim Bialik’s blog) has been doing just that. The author discusses how she overheard women at the store discussing how WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) covers the cost of SOME formula, but not enough to keep their babies full, so they were going to start supplementing cereal to make up the difference.  This quote really stuck with me:

And then I began to feel angry: with myself, for living complacently in a place where a working mother with government assistance is still unable to adequately feed her child; with the state, for sustaining this impossible scenario; and, frankly, with other mothers, for wasting time (so much time!) judging rather than helping, with challenges rather than solutions.

When did feeding your baby become a privilege? Mikey going hungry has never crossed my mind because 1) S. and I would go hungry first, 2) we have the resources to find a solution, 3) we have family who can help us whenever and however.  We realize (especially after 2 layoffs since I was pregnant with Mike) that not everyone is as lucky as we are and while we worry about finances like everyone else, we don’t have to worry about anything regarding Mike. Nor will we ever have to.

I’ve been looking at a half used box of diapers that didn’t work for Mike and I finally got around to trying to find a place to donate them. I have found something else that is unacceptable to me.

Food stamps can’t be used to buy diapers.

I’ll say it again.

Food stamps can’t be used to buy diapers.

It’s 9AM and Mike has already gone through 2 diapers. I just packed up his required daycare bin with a large stock of diapers. If we were taking advantage of free or subsidized childcare and couldn’t afford disposable diapers, Mike couldn’t go. Imagine waiting for a paycheck to buy diapers, but not being able to send your kid to daycare until you do. You would miss MORE work resulting in a smaller paycheck. All because of a pack of diapers.

I did some research on an infant’s diaper habits and found an average infant goes through 12 diapers a day and a toddler uses about 8. Let’s say Mike uses 12 a day. We order our diapers from Amazon because we have access to a credit card and the internet. I shopped around just now and found Pampers Swaddlers (his usual) in a size 4 for $44.00 with free 2 day shipping because we are Prime members. It’s a 144 pack, which means that’s enough diapers for about 12 days assuming he doesn’t have any blow outs. 31 days in March, so to be safe we would need to order 3 boxes. Do the math – $132 for enough diapers for 1 month.  This obviously doesn’t include the cost of wipes or diaper rash cream.

Now imagine not having the resources to ‘shop around’. I looked at our local Walgreens circular because it is walking distance from our apartment.  The same pack of diapers are a few dollars more ($50), but without a car I am bundling Mike up, putting him in the stroller and walking across 3 busy roads. And I doubt I would have $150 a month handy, so I would be making this trip 3 times a month.

So what are these low income families doing? Making those diapers last as long as possible by ‘scooping out the waste’ and reusing the diaper or leaving a diaper on as long as possible. Any parent knows what leaving a wet diaper on a baby does – diaper rash and discomfort. This is totally and completely unacceptable.

I found that there is a thriving diaper bank in the DC Metro area where I live. They have lots of drop off points and volunteers. I grew up in rural Maryland (Delmarva Peninsula) and asked my Facebook friends if there was a resources like a diaper bank and there were a few options, but nothing specifically for diapers.

So what’s up with this long rambling post? I have a nagging feeling to do something about this diaper situation. I turn 31 next month and want to collect 3,100 diapers (get it?) for low income families  by March 31st and I need your help.  Click the tab at the top of the page titled 12 4 1 to find out how you can help me reach my goal.

Guys? Clean diapers are not a privilege and a parent shouldn’t worry about how to make a pack of diapers last until payday.