We are working to ensure that every baby at each of our Diaper Drops has a healthy supply of diapers and a healthy start to life. Working in many poverty stricken regions around the world, many caregivers can’t afford diapers. Desperate, they have no choice but to leave babies in wet diapers, re-use disposable diapers, or resort to using rags and plastic bags as diapers. This is a choice we firmly believe no one, near or far, should ever have to make.
With your generous support, Jake’s Diapers has partnered with over 30 organizations worldwide; providing free cloth diapers to orphanages, rescue centers, and individual families who face enormous challenges in meeting basic needs. The families and orphanages we serve make difficult decisions every day about how to allocate limited resources, and often have to choose between food, medications, medical care, education and diapers.
The vast majority of babies served have been in developing countries, in devastatinlgy difficult situations. Here in the United States, 1 in 3 families struggle with diaper need. As we grow and expand, we are working to solve diaper need here in our own Wisconsin backyard. Diaper need knows no boundaries, and we will go where we are called to serve.
While our work solving diaper need locally has just begun, your impact has already started to change lives.
David, a father of three, is living with mental illness. To meet the diapering needs of his children, he was skipping doses to stretch his prescription. For David, and others we serve just like him, the gift of a complete supply of cloth diapers is life changing. It is one basic need met, to help lift him out of, and prevent others from falling into, crisis mode. When he learned he’d be receiving diapers, he broke down in joyous tears, a huge burden lifted from his troubled shoulders.
Poverty, homelessness, cultural barriers and competing needs such as food, clothing, child care and shelter can all impact caregivers’ abilities to adequately provide for their children. A healthy supply of disposable diapers can cost up to $2,000 per child. For Jake’s Diapers, we can completely diaper a baby from birth to potty training for just $231. But that’s not all. Each baby diapered in disposables generates one ton of garbage that takes over 300 years to decompose. Did you know that 15% of our landfills are disposable diapers?
The impact of cloth diapers runs even deeper than financial and environmental impacts. By supplying cloth diapers, we help caregivers properly care for their children- this is critical for a child’s healthy development. Studies show that children whose basic needs aren’t met are at great risk for lifelong social, emotional, and even physical health problems.
Cloth diapers also make it possible for caregivers to shift attention from the pressures of finding and affording diapers, to focusing on other challenges such as employment, housing, education or addiction. When caregivers take good care of their children, they feel good about parenting. This factor is central to preventing abuse and neglect in families at high risk for this tragedy.
Food stamps do not cover the cost of diapers, and the high price makes it difficult for poor families to afford them. Children whose caregivers ration their diaper supply suffer rashes and infection; caregivers, especially mothers, who struggle to care for their babies, often suffer from depression and mental illness. Suicide is the leading cause of maternal death in developed countries, and is not adequately measured in developing countries. Over one quarter of the babies we serve overseas have mothers who died in, or shortly after childbirth; and half of the babies we serve live in orphanages or group homes.
In the Fox Valley region, we are working on launching numerous pilot projects to solve diaper need with cloth diapers. There is already a disposable diaper bank that serves struggling, low income families. Our objective is to alleviate diaper need with cloth diapers here in the Fox Valley. Thank you for partnering with us on this amazing journey!