#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty

by Jake's Diapers, Inc.
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#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty
#savethebabies: Help Children Rise out of Poverty

“I’ll never forget how thankful she was. It was a truly beautiful experience.”

Meagan Johnson taught cloth diaper basics in Milwaukee for a couple years, but in spring 2020 met a mom that would shift her trajectory.

“She was a single mom of a baby boy, and she couldn’t afford the start-up cost of cloth diapering,” Meagan said. “But, her baby had severe eczema, and disposable diapers made it worse.”

The mother was looking for someone willing and able to donate cloth diapers to her. Meagan said she had a “large collection” of diapers herself, so she compiled a kit and dropped them off on the family’s front porch.

“Her gratitude and the relief she felt was overwhelming,” Meagan said. “She felt a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders, because now she wouldn’t have to worry about budgeting for diapers, and most importantly, her son’s skin could now heal.”

This memorable experience inspired Meagan to dig deeper into diaper need. In Milwaukee, the poverty rate in 2020 was 25.4 percent, while the national average sat at 9.2 percent, she said. The hard truth was that 68% of families with children in Milwaukee qualify for low-income status, and there were not resources to meet diapering needs..

“I decided to launch a small cloth diaper lending program, but when I started looking for a local diaper bank to partner with – there wasn’t one,” Meagan said. “After that realization, and doing a lot of research about diaper banks around the country – I knew this needed to be something bigger.”

That’s why Meagan launched the Milwaukee Diaper Mission, one of Jake’s newest Network of Hope partners. The program distributes disposable and reusable diaper and period product kits through a handful of community partners.

“The majority of the families we serve are Black and Latinx, and most are living well below the poverty line,” Meagan said. “Access to basic needs items was already difficult for these families, and the pandemic has made it even more of a challenge. Families are regularly having to choose between food or diapers, and government assistance programs do not offer diapering support. With 1 in 3 families struggling to afford diapers, and 1 in 4 menstruating individuals unable to afford period products, we are an essential organization for this city.”

Jake’s sent its first shipment to Milwaukee Diaper Mission in early 2021.

“We just received a large shipment today and we cannot wait to get them out into the community! Thank you so much for this amazing support,” Meagan said.

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Four months pregnant at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, one New York couple soon found themselves unemployed while awaiting the birth of their child.

“My partner and I both lost our jobs, and we were worried about being able to buy diapers after the stash of disposables we were gifted at our baby shower inevitably ran out,” the mom said. “I stumbled upon CNY Diaper Bank while researching affordable reusable cloth diapering options. I reached out on a whim, really just to ask questions about getting started with cloth diapers, and was met promptly with aid and kindness.”

CNY Diaper Bank is based in Syracuse, NY, and shares our mission to solve diaper need for families in its area. CNY is one of Jake’s partners and was able to provide this family with a cloth diaper kit to meet the diaper need for their infant, while also alleviating financial and other stressors related to not having enough diapers

“This pandemic has immensely affected our income, and can’t have come at a worse time for me having been preparing to welcome a child into my home,” the mom said.

With the help of Jake’s Diapers, the CNY Diaper Bank provided cloth diapers to 22 children (15 families) in 2019 and year-to-date in 2020 (through October) provided cloth diapers to 62 children (42 families).

“It is invaluable to me to have help during this uncertain time which not only helps us save on the upfront cost of cloth diapering but also the daunting cost of buying disposable diapers throughout the years,” the mom said. “It is also nice to know we are doing a little something to help fight climate change. We are so thankful.”

Cloth By the Numbers
January to October 2020

12,813 cloth diapers distributed
$199,366 in cloth diaper value
911 lives impacted

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In his short life, Donlove has struggled on and off with extreme malnourishment. Here’s his story from Real Hope for Haiti:

Donlove was brought to the clinic by his mother. Donlove has been sick for over 6 months now. He went to live with his dad for several months and got better. Once he returned with his mother, he got sick again and began developing kwashiorkor again. In fact, this makes 5 times that he has been through a time like this. 

The family are farmers and grow beans, corn and bananas in their gardens. The family lives in a 2-room home made of clay, rocks and tin. They do not have running at their home or a flush toilet, not even an outhouse. They get their water from a source that is about a 2-hour walk from their home. The family traveled 3 hours by foot and motorcycle to arrive at the clinic. He was started on the F-75 therapeutic milk and then graduated to the medika mamba program.

Donlove loved cars and truck. Any time he was playing with them he was happy. He also enjoyed being outside on a scooter or bike.

Thank you to Real Hope for Haiti for nourishing Donlove during his times of need. RHFH is one of Jake’s Diapers longstanding Diaper Drop partners, and we’re happy to have helped kids like Donlove to health with our cloth diaper kits.

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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.

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We're excited to share that Jake's Diapers was recently featured on USA Today. The news outlet interviewed our Executive Director Stephanie Bowers, capturing the depth of all the work we do.

The feature also discussed our nonprofit’s significant growth during 2020 as a result of increased needs due to COVID-19. As an example, we provided more diapers in March, April and May than we did in all of 2019.

“Diapers are such a basic need but so missed,” Stephanie explains. “If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and you go to the store because desperately need diapers and you go to the store and now the shelves are empty - what do you do?”

As of the end of July 2020, our total diaper distribution this year to babies in need is 443,994. We're excited to highlight our evolution and the impact our diapers have made since the beginning. 

Watch the amazing video here.

Links:

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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.
Little Chute, Wisconsin United States
$106,304 raised of $125,000 goal
 
2,307 donations
$18,696 to go
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