Fact: There are no public assistance programs in the United States that provide or subsidize diapers for low income families.
Fact: It can cost as much as 100$ or more a month to diaper a baby adequately with disposable diapers.
Fact: Some families cannot take their children to daycare when funds are low because they don’t have enough diapers to provide.
Fact: Some families go longer between changes to stretch their diapers and their money. Fewer have also reused disposable diapers by drying them out or scraping out the solid waste.
Diapers are a necessity for the majority of parents in the modern world. Aid agencies can often help families in need with food, clothing, and housing but diapers aren’t part of the package. Larger cities do have diaper banks and there are many rescue missions and food banks that do what they can but what about the families without access to these services?
Over the years a few foundations have cropped up to provide or lend cloth diapers to qualified families. Many are locally based and only serve the families around them, and others are national.
This is just a look at a few organizations I am aware of. Updated September 2013 to include an interactive map of active cloth diaper banks (end of post).
The DFW Cloth Diaper Project serves the Dallas/ Ft. Worth metro area. The charity is an offshoot of the DFW Cloth Diaper Group- a local support group that meets monthly for current and future cloth diaper using families.
The idea for the project was that of Brenda Barnhart and came even before the group. She was in line at the store
behind a young mother with 2 small children. When it came time to pay the mother didn’t have enough money to pay for the small amount of food she was buying and the pull-ups. She removed a few of the food items and not the pull-ups. Brenda offered to pay for other items but the cashier didn’t hear her and the mother rushed out. This incident, and Brenda’s passion for cloth diapers, gave her the push to begin DFW Cloth Diaper Project; she didn’t want other families to have to choose between diapers and food again.
So far DFW has helped 3 families and a total of 5 babies get started with cloth diapers. If you are local this would be a great place to donate your used diaper when finished with them because they will go directly to local families who need them.
Operated by the cloth diaper store Jillian’s Drawers, this diaper bank relies on local donations and provides low income families with cloth diapers. From the little information available it seems you can walk into the store with your WIC card and leave with a stash of 18 cloth diapers. This is for local families in Central New York.
“Help A Mother Out (HAMO for short) was formed in the spring of 2009 in reaction to media reports about the economic crisis’s effect on young children, families, and mothers, in particular the growing numbers of homeless children and families in California. Reaching out to San Francisco Bay Area shelters, co-founders Lisa Truong and Rachel Fudge learned that the number-one need was not baby blankets, clothing, or even food but diapers—which are not covered under social-safety net programs like WIC or food stamps. So they decided to organize a Mother’s Day diapers-and-wipes donation drive to benefit a dozen agencies serving low-income and homeless families throughout California.” Read more on their website
HAMO primarily provides disposable diapers but they do accept cloth diaper donations and prefer Econobum kits. When applicable and in stock they can and will provide them to families who will use them.
Heiny Helpers was founded in 2011 by three mamas at First United Church in Bloomington, Indiana. Inspired by the many families in our church who cloth diapered, we wanted to find a way to help families facing financial hardship stop throwing away money on disposable diapers.
Our church was enthusiastic about hosting our little project – both because the church wanted to help families and because environmental sustainability is important to our congregation.
GDGH began as a local diaper bank for Gloucester, MA and now offers free cloth diapers for low income families to borrow. Families do have to pay the shipping cost. Families apply through their online application and if approved, will be sent diapers as closely matching the applicants preferences as possible. They rely solely on donations so they can’t always fulfill wishes but they do try. If you don’t have a place to donate your used diapers locally and would like to pay it forward, there is more information about donating cloth diapers on their website.
Website: www.givingdiapersgivinghope.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/givingdiapersgivinghopefoundation Twitter: @GivingDiapers
Blesses Bottoms is primarily a diaper bank that gives out disposables however they are offering education and support for cloth diapers to families who are interested, and if they receive cloth diaper donations they will dispense those to families interested.
Cotton Babies, makers of popular cloth diaper brands bumGenius, Flip, and Econobum, have teamed up with various hosts across the country to provide cloth diapers to families in need through the “Share the Love” program. A full list of locations can be found on their website but a few examples are Birmingham, Nashville, Toledo, St. Louis, Wichita, W. Palm Beach, and Aurora CO. To apply you will need to contact the host listed on their website for your city.
Cloth for a Cause helps family in Canada receive cloth diapers. They have a dozen chapters across Canada and help the loca families or can ship diapers if the family will pay the shipping costs. You can find a chapter list here: Find a Chapter. Applications are found on the Apply page.
Website: ClothforaCause.ca Facebook: Facebook.com/ClothforaCause Twitter: Twitter.com/ClothforaCause
Thanks to these and the other similar organizations, a respectable number of babies are in cloth diapers and a weight has been lifted off of their parents’ shoulders. Running a diaper bank is no easy task so these women should be applauded for their volunteer work.
Other cloth diaper banks are here on this interactive map. Please add your bank to the map if it isn’t already listed.
If you would like to see a diaper bank that I missed added to this list please leave a comment or contact me.Pin It