As a parent, you have probably heard of (or hopefully even participated in) a diaper drive in your area. But have you ever thought about what goes into getting an operation like this off the ground and running? Or how the need for diapers can truly be the difference between security and tough times for a family?
Did you know, for example, that diapers aren’t covered by federal subsidies? When I learned this while visiting the HomeAid Orange County, an emergency shelter for families and member of the National Diaper Bank Network, I was taken aback. And to think that according to the recently announced study, Diaper Need and Its Impact on U.S. Families, from the National Diaper Bank Network and founding partner, 1 in 3 U.S. families suffer from diaper need.
Maybe you’re thinking that these families can save money by using reusable diapers. But most childcare facilities don’t accept children using reusable diapers. In fact, the same study, Diaper Need and Its Impact on U.S. Families, uncovered 57% of families in diaper need miss work or school due to a lack of sufficient diapers required by childcare, daycare or early education programs to care for a baby or toddler. (It makes sense when you think about the logistics of dealing with that for a room full of babies or toddlers.)
Unpack the issue a little more and you see the unrelenting cycle families in need can be stuck in:
Can’t get diapers from government subsidies -> In diaper need -> Not able to obtain childcare without diapers -> Not able to keep a job without childcare -> No money for diapers/housing/food without a job
This is why since becoming the founding sponsor of the National Diaper Bank Network in 2011, Huggies No Baby Unhugged has donated over 200 million diapers and wipes to support the growth of the network and families in need.
And it is why Gina Scott has been working with HomeAid for over 20 years. Their mission is to assist in keeping families off the street during tough times and to provide them with help obtaining affordable housing.
She knew the HomeAid Orange County needed diapers (specifically size 4 and 5), and she knew the deep impact those diapers could have. So she took action and started a diaper drive.
After a lot of hard work and dedication by countless volunteers, Gina’s diaper drive has grown to truly amazing proportions. There’s now even an annual event at the Angels’ Stadium where eight home builders and many other participating agencies collect over one million boxes of diapers each year.
As you can imagine, this is no small feat. The process starts with a committee of 20 volunteers who work with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County to plan the event.
Approximately 400 more volunteers from local builders put together houses made from diaper boxes for the event. These aren’t just any houses…the builders show off their skills by decking the houses out with lighting and furnishings. The houses are then auctioned to bring funds back to the community.
Still hundreds of more volunteers pitch in to accept and sort donations and the LA Times even donated their old, vacant building to be used to collect and store all those diapers.
Volunteers from a local lumber wholesaler donate palettes and wrap, then UPS volunteers to transfer them to the Orange County Food Bank, which is responsible for distributing them to local shelters.
As you can see, hundreds upon hundreds of people volunteer their time to make sure this amazing diaper drive is successful. As a result, shelters like HomeAid Orange County are provided with diapers to give to the families staying in this temporary situation.
Thank you so much to Gina and all of the volunteers at HomeAid Orange County for the incredible work they are doing and for taking the time to show us around.
How can you help?
Learn more about how you can help fight diaper need, and donate your Huggies Rewards points to help babies in need at Huggies.com/NoBabyUnhugged.
Huggies – the fastest growing diaper brand in U.S. hospitals – believes deeply in the Power of Hugs, which is why every diaper and wipe is inspired by a parent’s embrace. The Huggies No Baby Unhugged program helps ensure all babies get the hugs they need to thrive by supporting hugging programs in hospitals and donating diapers across the country. Learn how you can help at Huggies.com/NoBabyUnhugged).#HuggiesCouncil #ad