By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Thomas, Greater Triad Branch Director
What would you do if you had to choose between buying food, paying your bills, and keeping your baby in clean diapers? For 1 in 3 families in our community, this isn’t a hypothetical question. Diapers cost an average of $80-100 a month, and government programs like WIC and food stamps can’t be used to purchase them.
We all want what’s best for our children, and that includes a fresh, clean diaper whenever it’s needed. This basic need led to the creation of Diaper Bank of North Carolina, which has grown over the past four years from a kitchen table in Durham to a statewide organization covering two million bottoms a year. With the support of our communities, we hope to work eventually in every county in North Carolina.
Diaper Bank of NC hasn’t just gotten bigger – we’ve expanded our recognition of the importance of basic hygiene items to all people. We realized, for example, that moms who struggle to afford diapers can’t always afford menstrual products for themselves. Their daughters are at also risk of missing out on school and other activities if they don’t have enough supplies to take care of their period without fear of an accident. To help girls and women reach their full potential, we now distribute maxi pads and tampons along with diapers and supplies like wipes, baby soap, and diaper cream.
How We Work
Knowing that families who struggle to afford diapers and feminine hygiene also struggle with other needs, Diaper Bank of NC distributes diapers through a network of strong family support programs. We work with programs like Smart Start, Family Services of Guilford County, Forsyth Connects, and YWCA to ensure a brighter future for young North Carolinians and their parents. These organizations offer physical and mental health care, food and employment assistance, home visiting programs, and case management to help families reach their full potential. So while diapers may bring a family to a particular program, they leave with much more.
Diaper Bank of NC’s Greater Triad branch distributes 55,000 diapers across seven counties every month. We couldn’t accomplish this feat without the help of amazing volunteers across the Triad. The easiest way to get involved is to host a diaper drive. Not only will you be helping to fill our shelves with diapers, hosting a drive helps spread the word about hygiene needs throughout the community. We make it easy, with suggestions for themes, sample social media posts, and signage. Consider hosting a drive through your preschool, church, or book club – or challenge your neighbors to see who can raise the most diapers!
We also need help wrapping our supplies for distribution in the community. Wrapping pads and diapers is a fun and easy way to make a difference, and we welcome families with children to volunteer. If you can count to 12, we have a job for you. We even have a play area for little helpers to take a break while their parents help out!
To learn more about how you can get involved, email GreaterTriad@ncdiaperbank.org or give us a call at 336-830-4579.
Check out other “Doing Good Things” blogs here:
“Doing Good Things Series” – The Man Van
“Doing Good Things Series” – H.O.P.E
“Doing Good Things Series”- Empowered Girls of North Carolina
“Doing Good Things Series” – The Speech Bus
“Doing Good Things Series” – Buddy Break
“Doing Good Things Series” – The Robert DeLoach Heroes League
“Doing Good Things Series” – The iCan House
“Doing Good Things Series” – ReadWS/Augustine Literacy Project
To nominate a non-profit to be featured in our “Doing Good Things” series, email Rachel@triadmomsonmain.com.