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Sep 15, 2020

Caleb's Story: 'He is Always Happy and Laughing'

Caleb’s dad brought him to the clinic in search of infant formula for him. Caleb’s mother struggled with mental health problems, and eventually Caleb’s dad needed to work, so he left Caleb with his grandpa. Unfortunately, his grandpa was unable to care for him well and he became malnourished. 

Caleb lives in a 2 room home made of cinder block cement and tin with 6 family members. They do not have running water at their home or a flush toilet but do have an outhouse. Besides being malnourished Caleb also has a cold and fever on and off. They traveled 1.5 hours by motorcycle to arrive at the clinic.

Caleb had bad diarrhea when he first came, so diapers from Jake’s helped to contain that for him and helped for other kids not to get sick.

“He always is happy and laughing,” Licia of Real Hope for Haiti says. “He loves his dad and is very happy when he visits.”

Caleb arrived at just 16 pounds but grew to 23 pounds as he regained his health. 

Little by Little, these kiddos get better. Together, we’re able to make that possible.

Sep 15, 2020

COVID-19 Disrupts Rural Area with Economic Crisis

Birthday parties of 2020 will carry their own mark of memorability, likely with a unique twist to the celebration because of COVID-19. For many families struggling with poverty, birthday parties were never something to take for granted.

At Dakota Diaper Pantry, our Diaper Drop partner in North Dakota, one mother was brought to tears when the group organized a party with cake for her child.

“No mother wants her child to have to celebrate their birthday in a shelter, but sometimes it’s unavoidable,” said Liz Larsen of the Dakota Diaper Pantry. “We set up a small birthday celebration with the other women in the shelter, and when the mom walked in she burst into tears. A cake may seem like a small gesture to some, but she said she was overcome with emotion knowing her child would get to have a birthday cake this year.”

The Dakota Diaper Pantry, a YWCA Minot program, works to eliminate diaper need in Western North Dakota. All veterans and active duty families are automatically approved for diaper program through this organization.

“By bridging the gap for families, we promote dignity and help to empower them to pursue their ambitions,” Liz said. 

The pantry serves a very rural area with a unique job market, in some cases individuals have earned 6 figures with only a 9th grade education.

“Truly, this community is being hit harder by COVID than most. We were an oil-dependent community where people with no education had the ability to make $150k+ a year easily,” Liz said. “Now, people who thought they were untouchable are unemployed, and related jobs are also unsure of if/when they’ll bounce back.”

Yet, these jobs were not accessible to everyone. Well-paying jobs are for men who can work 20 days in a row away from home without the burden of childcare. 

“We have some of the wildest differences in wealth,” Liz said. “Housing is not affordable and daycares are few and far between. … Stores can sometimes be an hour away from your home, in more rural parts. There are not a ton of resources for people, sadly.

The mother who celebrated her child’s birthday in the shelter was able to leave the emergency shelter; but then, COVID hit and her work hours were cut. Liz said she depends on diapers from the Dakota Diaper Pantry so she can maintain rent payments. 

As a Diaper Drop partner, Dakota Diaper Pantry has distributed cloth kits from Jake’s Diapers throughout COVID-19.

“We have had a few families cry because cloth diapers are spendy up front!,” Liz said. “Fixed incomes are so tight since COVID. We are able to spend our limited grant funded budget on disposable products to ensure every type of family is served!

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Sep 15, 2020

More than 1 Million Items Sent to Families in Need

It seems like almost overnight, our warehouse grew into a maze of products for a steadily increasing number of families in need. These products are all items we use in modern society to raise a healthy family, and experience a quality life. Jake’s is doing more than giving out products - but rather, propelling individuals to experience the type of life we all take for granted.

COVID-19 has accelerated our growth, with an unprecedented increase in basic needs support from community members.

As of July 2020, we distributed 1,121,489 products to families in need, compared to 606,964 in all of 2019. This means we've almost already doubled our impact and just barely halfway through the year. 

COVID-19 is driving a number of poverty issues, including increased homelessness. Here's what one partner said about how our support helps:

"We’ve got girls coming in off the streets who have their period that month or just got it and they’ve got nothing - being able to hand them ... clean pants, clean underwear - in a discreet way, and then provide the hygiene products, is so impactful." - Kim Juve of Pillars, one of Jake's partners

Thank you so much for supporting this project during these difficult times.

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