Send Cloth Around the World to Keep Babies Healthy

by Jake's Network of Hope
Send Cloth Around the World to Keep Babies Healthy
Send Cloth Around the World to Keep Babies Healthy
Send Cloth Around the World to Keep Babies Healthy
Send Cloth Around the World to Keep Babies Healthy
Send Cloth Around the World to Keep Babies Healthy
Send Cloth Around the World to Keep Babies Healthy

Jake’s Network of Hope partners with Abide, a Uganda nonprofit, to provide cloth diaper kits to parents struggling to provide basic needs.

Monica, a 24-year-old single mother, fed her infant sugar water and black tea as a last resort - all the while wondering whether this is how raising her son would go.

“On a lucky day, well wishers from my community would give me cow's milk for the baby," she told Abide Family Center Uganda, a Jake’s Network of Hope partner. Monica believed that her son Henry belonged with her, the organization wrote on this Facebook post. She wanted the best for him; however needed additional support to achieve this important goal in her life. 

"I found life hard," Monica recalls. “I used to think, is this going to be my life? Is my son going to grow up this way?"

After connecting with Abide, the organization explains what happened next:

  • Monica received formula (she still does) for her son Henry. 
  • She was enrolled into our business and parenting class where she graduated and received certificates upon graduation. 
  • After graduation, Abide worked with Monica and helped her start a second hand clothes business which is doing very well. 
  • Monica's goal to stay with her son and be able to take care of him has been achieved.

Monica’s little boy also received cloth diapers from kits sent by Jake’s Network of Hope. 

Abide works with parents to help them achieve self sufficiency. Over 80% of the children living in orphanages in Uganda have at least one living parent, being raised away from their families because of poverty, not because they are unloved or unwanted. 

Our cloth diaper kits provide an additional resource so that more parents like Monica can afford to better their situation and take care of their children. It won’t be long before another mom like Monica walks through their door, and we need your help. 

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“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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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 cloth diaper distribution this year to babies in need is 9,393. We're excited to highlight our evolution and the impact our diapers have made since the beginning. 

Watch the amazing video here.


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"Alone we can do so little. Together, we can do so much." - Helen Keller

When COVID-19 hit locally in March, we accelerated our mission to help vulnerable populations struggling with financial decisions between food and other basic needs. 

There are so many families struggling right now to buy essential products - like diapers, period products and adult care essentials - for their families. We knew these people would need extra help and care to circumvent the pandemic that would disproportionally affect people living in poverty.

We are so grateful for new supporters of our cause as we come together to help our community get through this time. Because of your support, we were able to ....

  • Give $30,711 in value of Cloth Kits to babies in need, a total of 1,940 diaper changes.
  • Distribute a total 313,665 essential hygiene products to people in need.
  • Help 7,054 people because of those distributions.

This impact doesn't even count May, yet!

Check out the included link for the full COVID-19 impact report to find out how many families we've helped, and learn more about the work that has kept us busy these last two months.

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Organization Information

Jake's Network of Hope

Location: Neenah, WI - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @jakesdiapers
Project Leader:
Lyssa Schmidt
Neenah , WI United States
$2,291 raised of $25,000 goal
55 donations
$22,709 to go
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