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Help Veterans and their Children

by Jake's Diapers, Inc.
Help Veterans and their Children
Help Veterans and their Children
Help Veterans and their Children
Help Veterans and their Children

As we continue with daily life while abiding by best practices to avoid COVID-19 spread, we’re all experiencing major shifts in communication. Instead of gatherings with family and friends, many have turned to technology to stay safe and connected.

This shift has also created a lot of change for many of our nonprofit partners who serve the basic needs of low income populations. 

For example, at the Winnebago County Health Department Public Health Supervisor Alana Erickson said all communications have shifted virtually, and WIC participants are being referred to 2-1-1 resources if in need of items not provided via those benefits. 

In Oconto County, our partners at Kingdom Come say drive-thru operations add a layer of difficulty to providing supplies that families need. For example, Belinda of Kingdom Come said she regularly spoke with families about diaper need when they would come in to pick up their supplies – something that isn’t happening right now.

“The biggest struggle is not hearing from our clients. Because we are serving more families, and the drive-thru style of food distribution does not lend itself to time to talk, we were not able to discuss particular client needs or changes to this first diaper distribution. (Typically) clients would talk to me about size changes or problem-solving based on our available products,” she said. “That is disrupted now, and will be increasingly disrupted with each month we continue to need to limit and control spacial contact with our clients.”

Belinda said hopes to be able to make assumptions about diaper size needs based on what she knows about the child, but at the end of the day right now is about just adapting to get by and make things work.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionally impacting children and families who lack access to clean diapers and other basic necessities. Hoarding, loss of jobs and shelter in place orders have forced more families to turn to nonprofit diaper banks, depleting available supplies.

Our Increased Distribution Exemplifies this Overwhelming Impact

In February, our program distributed 23,621 diapers to 472 children and families. This is a pretty normal month.

In March, we delivered 46,378 diapers to 1,009 children and families.

We expect this number to continue to grow.

Parents strolling the baby aisle across the U.S. are running into limited options and even empty shelves as the world continues its fight against COVID-19. Thank you for your continued support in providing essential items to families in need, especially at these most crucial times.

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As the coronavirus sweeps across the United States, with more cases confirmed each day in Wisconsin, we're busy supporting local needs to keep families protected. 

Our first wave of response included:

  • Triple distributions of adult care essentials (Depend® or Poise®) through our community partners
  • Host Senior Safety Drive-Thru Basic Needs Distributions (This was quite literally a drive-thru, where we worked to minimize any contact. We used signs and hand signals, then placed needed items into trunks/backseats of vehicles. Items distributed included incontinence supplies, toothpaste, and other hygiene basics.)
  • Double diaper distributions to community partners serving medically fragile families 
  • Period product distributions grab 'n go style at meal sites that are also grab 'n go 
  • Potential for increased baby diaper distributions

This is a highly fluid situation, and our distribution center home, the Hope Factory, is closed to public volunteers. We're operating with a minimal staff and volunteer crew, while maintaining increased sanitation and social distancing within Hope Factory. We're also using our whole-Factory air exchange system, which completely changes air in less than three minutes. 

"Wow, Stephanie! that is so great," said Jessica Adams at Wise Women Gathering Place. "We have been working remotely from the office and meeting with clients electronically. I will share this with staff in case they have any clients with questions."

Thank you for your ongoing support, which helps make us able to respond rapidly during crisis times like these.

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Today it is a joy to introduce you to Mary. Mary and her husband live in the rural areas of northeastern Wisconsin. As they grow older, they are working to fix up their cabin to enjoy together.

 Except, Mary, a Veteran, has hit some health snags. She’s had recurrent bladder cancer for more than a year, which means the work on the cabin is now on a deadline – a bit unknown, the date being until she can’t do the work anymore. They are working tirelessly to get it into shape.

 Mary’s condition means she’s had urinary infections and has constant problems with holding urine. She’s tried to get assistance to buy adult briefs through her insurance and the VA to no avail. 

 Thankfully, Mary has found hope through Kingdom Come, a pantry in Oconto Falls that serves the unmet needs of low income, handicapped, elderly, and at-risk in the community through a food pantry and resale shop. Kingdom Come is one of Jake’s Diapers community partners and is able to provide Mary with adult care essentials because of your support. 

 “Starting a partnership with Jake’s in 2019 has meant reduced stress for these families.”

“Getting the disposable adult briefs from the pantry has helped relieve some of that stress with the cost of buying adult ‘diapers,’” said Belinda Chou of Kingdom Come. “Plus, she has not had an infection since she’s had the disposable briefs.”

 Oconto Falls and the surrounding area are often considered a bedroom community of Green Bay, Belinda said, and this means good jobs require reliable transportation and education. Poverty, health and emotional issues are common themes for people in the area. Low job skills and lack of -education prevent many from climbing out of the cycle.

 Starting a partnership with Jake’s in 2019 has meant reduced stress for these families as well as some education about products available to deal with incontinence, Belinda said. 

 “Consistency or reliability of products, variety of products, and the cost-saving are all great things that have come from Jake’s,” she said. “And about 50% of our food pantry clients are using some type of diaper or menstrual product. –That means a great impact for our clients! Thank you!”

 Thank you for helping Mary, and other adults we serve through Jake's A.C.E. Initiative

 Blessings,

 Stephanie Bowers
Executive Director

 

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Things were tight: they were choosing between bills, food and diapers many months and “it was extremely exhausting,” Amy told us.

“We have been having extreme financial struggle since my husband separated from the army after 8 years of service,” she said. That is, until she found our Individual Aid program and was able to borrow a cloth diaper supply kit. 

“Thanks to Jake's Diapers, we now have the means to catch up on bills and breathe,” she said.

“It has given us breathing room and lessened the financial burden we were under. Less negativity in our home due to money strain and overall helped the health of our child. He suffers from eczema and the cloth diapers have helped him so much!”

Thanks for helping our military families stay clean, dry & healthy. 

~ Stephanie

 

About Our National Efforts: Jake’s Diapers provides reusable options to members of the National Diaper Bank Network to supplement their work with single-use items. We also maintain partnerships with a network of organizations throughout the United States to support their efforts to help others live clean, healthy and prosperous lives. In late 2018, we also launched a direct aid diaper loan program for individual applicants in the U.S.


Make your impact today! A donation of $16 solves diaper need for moms and babies like the ones in our story

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Organization Information

Jake's Diapers, Inc.

Location: Little Chute, WI - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @jakesdiapers
Project Leader:
Stephanie Bowers
Jake's Diapers, Inc.
Kaukauna, WI United States

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