At the beginning of September, I set out to rally my peeps for a diaper drive. I was inspired by Help A Mother Out and figured that between my children’s two schools, my family, neighbors, and friends, I would be able to generate a 1000-diaper donation for my nearby women’s drop-in center. They serve a population of women who don’t always have the money for diapers they need and whose public assistance funds are not always applicable for diapers.
Now for my bragging
Thanks my neighbors and friends, the box I placed outside my side door got filled many times over with diapers. When I first counted and realized I was at 600, I began to worry that 1000 was a lofty goal. I sent a status update email to motivate my network. I cheered myself on publicly via Facebook. As my self-assigned deadline approached, the diapers appeared at a faster pace. I was excited.
I attended a little gathering of bloggers at an E.L.F. make-up party and asked those ladies to donate. Some gave diapers and some gave me cash. (Turns out that women who have never themselves shopped for diapers are overwhelmed by the thought of choosing a size and brand.) The cash was worth even more than the face value as my husband took it to CVS and used some heavy-weight coupons and his clever math strategery to maximize the number of diapers he brought home.
I was proud. I had about 1500 diapers spread all over the floor in my home office. I took them to the Women’s Drop-In Center and spent the rest of the day feeling like a powerful superhero.
And then. More.
My friend Kimberley, a recipient of my email call to action, passed the word about my drive to her associates at Safeway, our regional grocery chain. The marketing person in charge of their house brand, Mom to Mom, decided she would match my drive with a generous donation of 1000 diapers from Safeway. I picked them up at my local store and headed back to the Women’s Drop-In center. I hope that the Mom to Mom team spent the rest of their day feeling like superheroes.
Frequently Asked Question: What about cloth?
When I initially posted about this and also asked my neighbors for donations, many asked why these folks do not use cloth diapers. Yes, for those of us who have a predictable place to hang our diaper bags each night, cloth diapers may be a money-saving choice. Imagine you are in transition, however. Different friends and shelters are serving as your bed each night. Or perhaps your apartment does not have a laundry facility on site, and laundromats do not allow diaper washing for sanitary reasons. For those folks and for the truly homeless, carting around soiled diapers until laundry becomes available is simply not practical.
Did anyone else take my challenge and become a diaper superhero? What are you waiting for?