Imagine that your baby’s screaming because her diaper’s dirty. You reach for a clean one, but you’re all out. Now imagine that you’re too broke to buy more. What do you do?
With the economy in a nosedive and many families reporting they’re worse off this year than they were last year, diaper need is becoming a real problem. One that Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo wants you to know about.
According to a study by Huggies, one out of every three moms has had to choose between diapers and other household necessities (like food, utilities, and child care). Eleven percent say they had to stay home from work or school because they didn’t have diapers. And one in 20 moms washed and re-used disposable diapers -- even poopy ones.
So have you got (clean) diapers lying around that your kid’s grown out of? Here’s how you can help.
- Donate Your Too-Small Diapers: Contact your local homeless shelters or domestic violence charities and ask if they will take diapers. You can also go to EveryLittleBottom.com and enter your ZIP code to find local “diaper banks” who will bring them where they’re most needed.
- Donate Online: Don’t have extra diapers? Use the same ZIP code look-up; each diaper bank has a link to an Amazon wishlist where you can buy diapers and ship them directly to the bank. That’d make a nice “in lieu of presents” charity for your party, wouldn’t it?
- Host a Diaper Drive: You can make it fun and silly -- or you can just make it part of your Halloween shindig/Thanksgiving potluck/baby shower. Let your friends know that if they’ve got a closet with a half-full bag of diapers, you’ll help them empty it -- and help struggling moms in the process.
- Shop Smart: Walmart will donate an extra diaper for every pack of Huggies bought in their stores through December. Sam’s Clubs will have diaper bins in their stores, so you can drop off easily.
And before you yell at me: The obvious answer might seem to be cloth diapers, but the study looked into that: If a mom doesn’t have a washer and dryer, cloth diapers aren’t a viable option. Many day cares won’t deal with them. And some laundromats won’t even allow you to wash them. Lame!
Have you ever had to go without diapers, or worried that this would happen to you?
Image via PRNewsFoto/Kimberly-Clark