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Dialing for Diapers

help-a-mother-outWhat’s the number one need for mothers in homeless shelters? Any guesses?

If your mind went directly to diapers, give yourself a gold star (or at least thank me for the big ol’ hint in the headline). Thrift stores are full of cheap or free clothes, and food stamps help cover the cost of food for many. But there isn’t a government program out there that will pay to keep kids’ butts covered.

Which is where Help a Mother Out is stepping in. A group that found its footing around Mother’s Day this year with a diaper drive to help homeless moms in California, they’re going national in an attempt to keep baby butts safe from sea to shining sea.

Say the moms behind the organization: “If you’re not a parent, you might be surprised to realize that a “jumbo” pack of Pampers costs from $10 to $15—that’s 20 to 30 cents per diaper, depending on the size of the diaper. And if you can’t shop at discount stores like Target or Costco and instead have to rely on corner stores or drugstores, you’ll often end up paying even more per diaper. For reference, a newborn baby goes through 60 or more diapers a week. When money’s tight, that’s a lot of dough to drop.”

Since you’re reading a parenting site, I’m willing to bet you knew the deal with diapers. My first box at the superstore nearly gave me palpitations when I put it on the conveyor belt. And it never got easier (especially not when we moved up a size, and found there were fewer and fewer per box).

Even the women I know who’ve gone cloth (bless you) confess to bigger bills on the cleaning end. When you’re homeless, you can’t go cloth – it’s not feasible. And forget the newer disposables that are meant to break down faster (which I would have killed for just four years ago when my daughter was still diaper clad) but cost a bundle more.

The lack of diapers – or lack of funds – means many poor kids are sitting in soiled diapers for lengthy periods of time, not out of neglect but pure necessity.

So how do you fix it? Check out Help a Mother Out. Hold a diaper drive (they’ve got the dets) or donate to one on their list. You can have Amazon ship straight to their causes, or do it at home and shop your favorite cheap spot for diapers.

Come on, can you help a mother out?

Image: Help a Mother Out

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