As the school year is starting, it’s about time we go back to the basics. Basic necessities. Basic necessities for healthy living, like diapers for the bottoms of happy and healthy children!
Diapers are material basic necessities all children require, as essential as food, shelter, and clothing. Yet, most state and national safety-net programs do not recognize diapers as a basic need, and so there is no assistance in obtaining diapers for little ones who need them. Babies require 6 – 10 diaper changes a day, a concern for families who struggle with diaper need. The average family is short 50 diapers a month. That’s about 8 – 10 days a month. Imagine how you feel when there’s no toilet paper left in the bathroom!
Diaper need is the lack of a sufficient amount of diapers to keep a baby clean, dry, and healthy. 1 in 3 U.S. families lack enough diapers for their little ones. Odds are, we have encountered or know someone experiencing diaper need today. And that’s not the worst of it! There are negative consequences connected with diaper need. Babies who remain too long in soiled diapers are exposed to potential health risks. Most childcare centers, even free and subsidized facilities, require parents to provide a day’s supply of disposable diapers, and so, many parents cannot go to work or school if they can’t leave their babies at childcare. In fact, a study conducted by the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) and Huggies found that parents who struggled with diaper need missed an average of four days of work a month! The consequences and negative effects of diaper need may feel insurmountable, but that’s why there are Diaper Banks (like the Maker’s Place) to cover the basics! Every baby deserves to be healthy, safe, and dry!
The Maker’s Place, as part of the National Diaper Bank Network, is joining the effort to educate and advocate about diaper need in the United States, specifically during National Diaper Need Awareness Week (9.27.21 – 10.3.21). The Maker’s Place has a specific goal for the month of September, and every month, to build strong families in Trenton and the surrounding communities and bring the critical public health issue of diaper need to the forefront of our United Methodist Churches and our local community discussions on poverty.
And so, we invite you to host a diaper drive and bundling event, to take a special offering, to reach out about ways to volunteer with us, and to follow our social media closely throughout the month of September as a way of educating ourselves and our communities about diaper need. Be sure to check out our “Mission In A Box” Toolkit on our website; as well as, look for information on Operation Welcome Neighbor from the Greater New Jersey Conference of The United Methodist Church as we welcome refugees from Afghanistan. There are many ways for those of any age and ability to get involved!