I'm trying to teach my girls to be three things: strong, smart and kind. I want them to be good global citizens and take action when they see people in need. This means we read about current events and we support those in need. For our family, supporting diaper banks and family-focused charities is a part of our DNA. We know we are blessed and we feel the responsibility to give back. That's why my girls know how a diaper bank works and why I'm passionate about sharing Huggies partnership with the National Diaper Bank Network.
Several times a year my family and my company head to diaper banks to sort and distribute donations. When disaster strikes, like it did in Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico we also give quite intentionally to the National Diaper Bank Network - knowing that disaster relief isn't just about shelter and fresh water, it's also about getting families back to normal.
Sometimes it takes a disaster to recognize need, but for those who work on the front lines of social services, they know diaper need doesn't just coincide with a hurricane. For many parents, diaper need is a daily struggle.
Momtrends Visits Hopeline
This month I took a behind the scenes look at a NYC Diaper Bank. I took the 5 train from Brooklyn to the Bronx to visit the Hopeline.
Hopeline is a small organization making a big impact in the lives of many New Yorkers. I met the staff that works tirelessly to make a difference in the community and I saw the happy babies and grateful parents that use the services they offer.
Diaper need is an issue across the U.S. When a family is on assistance, every diaper counts. Can you imagine having to ration your diapers because you can't afford fresh ones?
According to the new study, Diaper Need and Its Impact on U.S. Families, by the National Diaper Bank Network and founding sponsor, Huggies, 1 in 3 U.S. families report suffering from diaper need. On average, diapers cost $18 a week; babies need 6-10 diapers per day. Through the No Baby Unhugged program, diaper donations give clean diapers to babies in need. Since the program’s beginning, Huggies has donated over 200 million diapers and wipes, and countless lives have been touched.
One of the programs Huggies supports through the National Diaper Bank Network is the Hopeline. The Hopeline team has set up a system to provide diapers and formula for hundreds of Bronx families. A new mom or dad can walk in and set up an appointment. After a brief interview, the benefits are set up based on individual need.
Each family is assigned a ticket with the correct size. Then the families are supplied enough diapers and wipes to get through the month. We watched a volunteer lovingly prepare diaper and wipe bundles to be picked up. And we met Dorothy, the part-time bookkeeper and full-time volunteer. When product donations run short, Dorothy clips coupons and drives to BJ's to pick up the supplies they need.
The Greatest Needs of Diaper Banks
When I asked Maria Cintron, Hopeline's Director, about her greatest need, she said she wished more schools and churches would run diaper drives. Unbeknownst to me, one of our local Brooklyn churches, Grace Church holds an annual drive. It would be easy for more schools and churches and apartment buildings in NYC to do the same.
After drives, Maria needs money to cover her operating expenses. With an annual budget of $400,000 she's able to provide assistance to more than 300 families each month - and that's just through the diaper program. In addition, Hopeline was able to secure over $100,000 in benefits for NYC families in 2016. Hopeline also runs a food pantry and educational classes. Right now Maria relies on a handful of part-time employees and volunteers to help run the center. It truly is running on love.
How You Can Get Involved and Help
Don't think your need to be a millionaire or run a non-profit to give back. Every bit helps. At Momtrends, we matched donations to the Texas Diaper Bank when Hurricane Harvey hit. When natural disasters occur, aid rarely comes in the form of diapers. Diaper banks are connected to the community and can quickly and efficiently distribute aid. Thanks to donations from employees and friends plus the company match, we were able to donate more than $1000 to help needy families.
Give time, give money, give points. Just give.
- Locate your local diaper bank and drop off donations. You can find the diaper bank nearest to you by visiting nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org.
- Organize a Diaper Drive in your community
- Donate money or time to help run a diaper bank.
- Skip the baby shower and have gifts donated to a diaper bank instead (take my word for it, you really don't need all those onesies!)
- Donate your Huggies Reward Points
Perhaps the easiest of these is donating your Huggies Reward Points. We can all chip in to help fight diaper need. The Huggies No Baby Unhugged program helps ensure all babies get the hugs they need to thrive by working with the National Diaper Bank Network to donate diapers across the country. Learn how you can help at Huggies.com/NoBabyUnhugged
Please share other ideas on how we can support our communities!
This is a sponsored post. As a member of the Huggies Parents Council my job is to share stories and information that I think you’ll find inspiring and informative. All opinions are my own.
Huggies, the fastest growing diaper brand in U.S. hospitals, believes deeply in the Power of Hugs, which is why every diaper and wipe is inspired by a parent’s embrace. The Huggies No Baby Unhugged program helps ensure all babies get the hugs they need to thrive by supporting hugging programs in hospitals and donating diapers across the country. Learn how you can help at Huggies.com/NoBabyUnhugged. #HuggiesCouncil #ad