My friend Jill is celebrating her birthday by hosting a “Birthday Bash” blog carnival. The idea is that you give someone ELSE a birthday present. She highlighted Kids Food Basket, which I absolutely love (so much that one of my Christmas presents this year was a KFB sweatshirt) and wrote about here and here and here. If you live in the Grand Rapids area, this is a wonderful organization and they are impressively efficient with their resources.
I’d like to introduce you to the Great Start Parent Coalition Diaper Drive. While the Coalition poo-poohed (sorry) my suggestions for giving levels “Just Pee”, “Breastfed Baby”, and “Total Blowout“; I am still very excited about this! Our goal is to collect 25,000 diapers between now and September.
One out of every five babies in Kent county is born into poverty. As you can imagine, and may have experienced first-hand, the number of families in need of assistance has increased dramatically this year. WIC and food stamps do not cover diapers, which cost about $100 a month.
Now let me stop for a minute and say I am VERY pro-cloth diapering. The diapers we are collecting are disposable. So why am I supporting it? For one, most child care centers do not accept cloth diapers. And second, families who do not have a washing machine at home cannot wash cloth diapers at a laundromat because they do not allow it. It is very unhealthy and uncomfortable for a baby to sit in a dirty diaper for a long time, but if a family cannot afford enough of them, this is exactly what happens.
So how can you help? Well, there are a few ways. First, start looking around town for Diaper Drive boxes. They will be at many local businesses, churches, and other organizations and will be tall white boxes clearly marked. You can just put unopened packages of disposable diapers in all sizes. Personally, I am going to start looking for ‘diaper deals’ and use sales and coupons to score some inexpensive diapers to donate. Coming soon to the Great Start website will be a list of donation sites.
If your business, employer, or organization would like a donation box please contact me! I will totally hook you up. My email address is: bigbinderblog (at) gmail (dot) com. It’s easy; you just have to let it sit there and be a box. Then you will have a contact person to call when it’s full. Much better than when you are actually dealing with the end user of the diaper.
You can also make a cash donation. Make checks payable to “Heart of West Michigan United Way” and write Parent Coalition Diaper Drive in the memo line. Send it to this address:
Heart of West Michigan United Way
United Way Center
118 Commerce Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-4106
Find out about other worthy and interesting causes here. And wish my girl Jill a happy birthday while you’re there!