‘Diaper Need Awareness Week’ bottom line – you can help!

No better time to donate diapers to local families via WestSide Baby than this week – because it’s been proclaimed Diaper Need Awareness Week in the city, county, and state. WS Baby executive director Nancy Woodland shares the photo of her visit to King County Council Chambers this afternoon on behalf of the occasion. (That’s Nancy in red.) See the county proclamation here; ahead, the news release explaining the need:

Diaper Need Awareness Week (Sept. 8 through 14) calls attention to a disturbing statistic: Nearly 30 percent of low-income families cannot afford enough diapers to keep their babies clean, dry and healthy.

That was the finding of research newly published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study also found that mothers who cannot afford diapers exhibit more symptoms of depression and other mental health problems. Research shows that a mother’s mental health can have a profound effect on a child’s development.

“WestSide Baby is proud to serve families in King County, where we have given out over 366,000 diapers this year,” said Nancy Woodland, Executive Director. “We’re keeping babies clean, dry and healthy. We’re also giving parents the opportunity to work. Most childcare providers will not enroll children unless their parents provide a supply of disposable diapers.”

Our Governor, Jay Inslee, along with our King County Executive, Dow Constantine, and the Metropolitan King County Council and the Mayor’s office have all issued proclamations declaring this week, Diaper Need Awareness Week. Nancy Woodland, Executive Director of WestSide Baby and Renee Zimmerman, Executive Director of Eastside Baby Corner will attend a ceremony at the King County Council today, September 9th at 1:30 p.m. to be presented with the proclamation. Both Nancy and Renee will say a few words about the diaper need in King County and the focused efforts by each organization to meet the need of low-income families.
Despite the large number of diapers WestSide Baby distributes, the need is even greater, according to Nancy Woodland. “We’ve got a waiting list of social service agencies who want diapers for their clients. We’d love to support them, but it’s a question of resources,” said Woodland.

On Tuesday, September 10th, as part of our expansion to meet the need throughout King County, WestSide Baby will be distributing 10,000 diapers to Rainier Valley Food Bank. The new relationship between WestSide Baby and the Rainier Valley Food Bank will allow RVFB to provide its families with diapers along with the food and formula they are currently providing their families. This is our first step to expand our services into Rainier Valley, Ballard and the Central District.

“Diaper need is a huge issue that affects children’s health and parents’ ability to earn,” according to Joanne Goldblum, Executive Director of the National Diaper Bank Network. “We started Diaper Need Awareness Week in 2012 to call attention to this silent crisis, because we’ve seen that once people know about the problem, they are eager to help.”

To get involved in WestSide Baby, visit their website at westsidebaby.org or to get involved with Eastside Baby Corner visit their website at babycorner.org.

To learn more about diaper need nationally, visit the National Diaper Bank Network at diaperbanknetwork.org.

Side by Side Northwest is a partnership program between WestSide Baby and Eastside Baby Corner and is one of only six recent Regional Diaper Bank Affiliate designations made across the country by the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN). “The Side by Side Northwest program, created by these two agencies working together, taps into their combined strength, sustainability and efficiency, improving the health and safety of children in your community,” says Joanne Goldblum, NDBN Executive Director. WestSide Baby and Eastside Baby Corner have a long way to go to meet the 22 million diaper need, but these two thriving diaper banks have teamed up to address these issues around this need by providing more than 2 million diapers to children in need in King County over the next two years.

4 Replies to "'Diaper Need Awareness Week' bottom line - you can help!"

  • KT September 10, 2013 (12:10 am)

    This would be a great opportunity to educate the public about cloth diapers. You can use flour sack towels, old T-shirts, or receiving blankets as diapers. If you have access to a washing machine and a few dollars for detergent, you don’t need to be in need of disposable diapers. I don’t know if there is an organization in this area that educates low-income families on the cost savings of cloth diapers but it sure can help out!

    • WSB September 10, 2013 (8:17 am)

      KT, WS Baby has explained this many times. At home, certainly, you can use whatever you choose, though washing-machine access isn’t a given either. But we’re talking families who are likely dealing with day cares, clinics, shelters, as explained on this page of WS Baby’s site:

  • Silly Goose September 10, 2013 (8:36 pm)

    Hi KT I wanted to be a good steward of the earth when I had a baby and tried the whole cloth diaper thing for months until I just could not stand to hear my baby cry in pain from the raw bottom all the time. Cloth diapers hold all of the moisuture against the babies body and it really creates problem. I agree that as a last choice you can make anything into a cloth diaper but not for long term use.

    I am wondering why the state DSHS doesn’t also put an allotment of diapers on the WIC Checks along with the food allotments, can the city council get the ball rolling on this topic?

  • WS Interest September 17, 2013 (7:45 am)

    Diapers and other ‘paper products’ are not covered by food stamps. This puts people in a tough spot when providing for their entire household needs.

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