Tag Archive | "giving diapers giving hope"

#DiaperGap- Why Not Cloth?

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The White House has finally recognized that diaper need, and the divide between those who can buy diapers and those who can’t, is worthy of being addressed and solved.  This is welcome news to the diaper banking community (of which I am part of as the Executive Director of the cloth diaper charity Giving Diapers, Giving Hope) because for years even convincing people that diapers are a NEED has been a struggle.

Diapers are as much a necessity for all families as the food they need for their child.  Listen to the valid points made on the WhiteHouse.gov website:

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“…These choices become even more pressing because the lowest-income quintile of families with infants pay 14 percent of their income for diapers alone – an average of $936 for diapers per child each year, while many higher income families pay less than half that amount. These struggling families may not have access to transportation to the big box store, the credit or capital to buy in bulk at cheaper prices, or the access to internet or ability to receive packages required for online subscription services. The technology that makes life easier for so many of us just doesn’t provide the necessary supports for these families. 

There is also no federal assistance for purchasing diapers, unlike other essentials like food or health insurance. Programs like WIC, SNAP, Medicaid help provide parents with nutritious foods and the supports they and their babies need to stay healthy, and the President’s budget has called for $10 million to test effective ways to get diapers to families in need and document the health improvements that result. But unless Congress acts, we don’t have a program to help struggling families buy diapers for their children. So, we’re getting creative and using every tool we have to help solve this problem.”

Independent diaper banks have assisted these families and many are located in the areas most affected by diaper need and poverty.  Their existence is vital to the families who need them but most only provide disposable diaper assistance and some don’t have the means to provide the total or even half of the diapers a family needs each month.

Why has the White House neglected to recognize the validity of reusable diapers as a solution to at least SOME of the need that exists?  One Size reusable diapers, those that fit babies ranging from 10-40 pounds on average, have the ability to help each baby at a FRACTION of the cost.  They’re a one-time investment for whomever purchases- be it the diaper bank, a donor, or the family themselves.

How AMAZING would it be for the government to recognize this fact and subsidize programs that provide cloth diapers for families, or assist qualified families directly with their purchase?

How AMAZING would it be for the government to offer this as an option along with education on a local level where these families seek assistance such as WIC offices, social services, etc?

How AMAZING would it be for the government to also recognize the reduction of waste and resources used that cloth diapering on a larger scale would assist with?  Obama knows the crisis this planet faces- imagine how many millions of diapers could be saved by adding cloth diapers to this plan!

To say that lower income families can’t or won’t use cloth diapers is insulting and untrue.  Not offering the option or providing a hand-up when possible is also an great injustice.  I can tell you that not every family can or will but they will NEVER give cloth diapers a chance if they don’t know they even exist or understand how they work.  The lack of access in the most affected areas of this country means a dependence on expensive diapers at a higher cost with no hope for climbing out of the depths of poverty.  This isn’t just the truth about diapers, it’s the truth about poverty.  It’s expensive to be poor.  

GDGH Lifetime

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is able to provide 16 changes worth of diapers per child at less than $50 each when we seek out the best deal on cloth diapers.  For FIFTY DOLLARS a family can save nearly $2,000 of their own money that can go towards other essentials.  At FIFTY DOLLARS a family GDGH can gift a family the peace of mind that comes with knowing their baby will never have to experience wearing a diaper too long and suffering diaper rash or worse- infection.  GDGH helps 40-60 families a month all over the US who qualify for assistance and our shipping partners Kelly’s Closet and Thirsties work together to send  1,000-1,600 diapers each month.

Imagine what the US Government could do with their resources that GDGH simply can’t!

Take just 10 seconds and let your voice be heard that cloth diapers are a viable solution for families facing #diaperneed by tweeting:

 

Tweet: .@WhiteHouse Reusable diapers can TRULY bridge the #diapergap- EDUCATE and FUND a sustainable option for families. http://bit.ly/WHYCloth

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Looking Ahead to 2016 for Giving Diapers, Giving Hope

Looking Ahead to 2016 for Giving Diapers, Giving Hope

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When you wear many hats sometimes you aren’t sure where to post your thoughts- all of my worlds mesh together and connect along the common theme of cloth diapering and my passion for helping families use them.

DDL is my blog, it’s where I earn my income and where I can share my own thoughts.  Giving Diapers, Giving Hope has become my other home; I have slowly gone from a helper to the head honcho of this charity.  As someone else said, Kim Rosas is the face of GDGH.  That was never the intention but when you’re the one behind the strings and you have a public Facebook, Periscope, Instagram, Twitter etc I can see how that could happen.  And it has.

Maria Moser and I- together we make up the administrative team for GDGH

Maria Moser and I- together we make up the administrative team for GDGH

 

GroVia is officially no longer shipping for GDGH as of this week and we are transitioning to our two new shipping partners- Thirsties and Kelly’s Closet.  Before I sing the praises of these new partners I wanted to put my feelings into words on what our previous partnership has meant to us and to me, how it came to be, and what is ahead for GDGH.  This is a long post so be warned!

The Backstory

In 2013 GDGH was struggling to keep up.  The two women running the day-to-day operations, Emily Glover (then President) and Kristen McCarthy (founder and Vice President) didn’t have the facilities or the time between them to keep up with the rising demand.  I stepped in to help by taking over their social media and fundraising.  I also helped them brainstorm ways they could get ahead and keep the organization rolling.  One of my ideas was to research a CRM system (similar to the systems your favorite online cloth diaper store uses to tell you that your order has been placed, your order is in queue for shipment, your order has shipped and your tracking # is ___) that our charity could use.  More man hours were spent replying to email inquiries about the diapers shipping than virtually any other task.  If we automated the process the admin team would have more time to ship packages.

I reached out to a number of people in our network to ask what CRM their company used, how customizable it was, and if they had connections to a developer who might work with GDGH to make it work for them.  Few people replied but one who did so was Kim Ormsby from GroVia.  She was very helpful in answering my questions and suggested we talk in person at ABC Kids in a few months.

Meanwhile I planned a big fundraiser with the goal of raising funds for a custom built CRM.  Nothing was going to work out of the box in the research I did so it was on to Plan B.  I researched quotes on a custom build and knew it would be expensive but to make the organization run and survive it was the best option.

When ABC Kids 2013 arrived I had an appointment with Kim at the GroVia booth.  We sat on a bench and talked all things Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  As I recall I mentioned building something to make the admin’s work less and lamented about the struggles they were having with space for diapers and the workload of shipping.  Kim came out with her plan- to have GroVia’s team handle all of the shipping and receiving.  They would house the diapers for GDGH, sort the inbound donations, and then ship to approved families.  I was so shocked I could have fallen over!  Kim didn’t want to handle the administrative work but her company could take on that fulfillment side of operations in a way that GDGH was struggling to manage.

Kim Ormsby, owner of Gro-Via, and myself at ABC Kids Expo 2014

Kim Ormsby, owner of Gro-Via, and myself at ABC Kids Expo 2014

I will never forget walking away from that booth and finding a quiet spot near FERN rentals, sitting, squealing, crying, and calling Kristen to tell her about the offer.  The weight that somehow transferred to my shoulders and the stress of making GDGH work was suddenly lifted.

We transitioned to GroVia a few months later and my role in the organization kept growing.  I started answering emails, then approving applications.  I set up the shared spreadsheet system that GDGH used with GroVia, when we were low on diapers I organized the drives to get us back up.  I always told Kristen that I wouldn’t get involved with GDGH until I knew it was going to be in it for the long haul.  When the long haul looked uncertain I was already involved so it fell to me to make it happen. So far I’ve been able to do so but it’s by no means something I could have done on my own.

Now that we are leaving the home we’ve been in for the past 2 years it’s bittersweet.  I’ve learned many hard won lessons through our partnership with GroVia that will make GDGH a stronger organization and that has led to personal development on my part.  To see GDGH grow and change the lives of more and more families each month has been incredibly rewarding.  Every email, every message or even the rare in person thank you at MommyCons from GDGH recipients is a reminder of why I have fought to make it work despite all the wrenches that have been thrown at us.  I’ve wanted to quit a MILLION times.  I’ve cried more times than I can count when I’ve faced a challenge that seemed insurmountable.  I’ve wondered WHY DID I TAKE THIS ON when I realized my hours are spent increasingly on the charity as a volunteer than on the blog that provides income (notice postings are not nearly as frequent as they used to be).  The universe always steps in when I hit my wall- something intervenes that puts everything into perspective.  On the hardest day yet a few months back after a good cry my phone rang and it was my sister.  I answered even though I wasn’t in the mood for casual conversation.  She said “you won’t believe this but in my mom’s forum there were people talking about cloth diapers and one of the moms said she was cloth diapering thanks to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope!  That’s so cool, don’t you think?”  Hello Universe, message received via telephone.

Now GDGH is looking at a very bright 2016 thanks to many people and things.  First- Thirsties and Kelly’s Closet will be the new shipping partners for 2016.  This makes me smile ear-to-ear.  Having two shipping partners in different areas of the country had been a dream for me.  It made financial sense for shipping but also made sense for the partners- as GDGH grows and averages more shipments per month (we used to ship just 15, then 20, then 25, then 30, now we are averaging 35 per month but have shipped as many as 60 in a month!) splitting the work load will be better for everyone.  If one partner is lacking a particular diaper size or style needed to fulfill one family’s box of hope then the other can ship it.  It’s also better for our donation partners who may prefer to ship to a brand or retailer.  Win Win Win and Win!

workflow

This is the new system’s workflow that my husband and I mapped out for the new CRM system

 

We are also finally able to begin using that custom application I started dreaming up in 2012.  It’s only taken 3+ years to go from a dream, to requirements document, to workflow, to developer interviews, to the actual build.  Thanks to a grant from the National  Diaper Bank Network and fundraising efforts plus the extremely generous discount we are receiving from a talented Saleforce developer we will have an application that cuts our time spent on applications and shipping work in half!  I’m geeking out over the backend of this baby, maybe some of you can understand.  If you can’t I’ll say it compares to switching from a 2002 flip phone to the iPhone 6s in ease of use and capabilities.

The new team (most of it) for GDGH- Thirsties, Kelly's Closet, board members, administrative volunteers, and friends!

The new team (most of it) for GDGH- Thirsties, Kelly’s Closet, board members, administrative volunteers, and friends!

The Oscar Speech

GDGH has been on the receiving end of so many generous donations and gestures that thanking everyone behind them is simply not possible.  GroVia shouldered the physical work on behalf of GDGH and their offer is the reason we are still operation today- thank you Kim.  I still think back on that day and marvel at the offer that has shaped GDGH and propelled it’s growth.  Smart Bottoms, Abby’s Lane, and Blueberry were some of our biggest contributors in the year who made it possible to lower the shipping fees for families.  Osocozy, Thirsties, GroVia, GEN-Y, Kanga Care, Tushmate, Nicki’s Diapers, Geffen Baby, AppleCheeks, BALM Baby, Lalabye Baby, Funky Fluff, Sweet Pea Diapers, Super Undies, qdSpray, Molly’s Suds, Tots Bots, Eylas Imports… these companies and their generous contributions of product or help have been lifesaving.  I know I have and will forget others so please forgive me if you’re in that camp.  Plus I absolutely have to thank the families who support us with their donations of diapers and financial contributions.  It takes a village!

Maria Moser of Change-Diapers gets a paragraph.  Last year when it was basically just me running GDGH alone I cried out for help.  I couldn’t be the only person to handle the administrative work of a fast growing non-profit.  Maria offered to help approve applications and bless her she has done above and beyond.  She is now the Director of Operations and the glue holding us together most days.  She approves applications and puts them in the spreadsheet, she answers emails, she does the day-to-day accounting, she helps strategize where we go next and our big decisions.

Amanda Hearn of Green Child Magazine has slowly taken over all graphic design work but she does much more than that.  She is my idea bouncer offer and cheerleader who usually pulls me together when I’m falling apart.  She makes GDGH look good and is often the person keeping me sane.  Jen Aprea from Spray-Pal is always there to put together a fundraiser with me, like the upcoming 2nd Edition Men of the Baby Industry Calendar or the recent Cheers for Charity in Las Vegas.  She’s like me- she wants to see the entire cloth diaper industry come together and hug.  In reality that’s not always possible but together we really make a great idealistic team.  She doesn’t know it yet but she’s going to be joining the GDGH Advisory Board for 2016.  Calley Pate from Kelly’s Closet has also been along for this ride supporting GDGH through social media but also supporting me when I need help.  She has been part of many fundraisers and offered her help whenever needed.  She is also a big reason why GDGH has partnered with Kelly’s Closet.  Julie Clark is the Cloth Diaper Geek but is also secretly running the world behind the scenes for her other business.  Julie’s been around to see this all grow and crash and grow, she’s great for pep talks and for helping in our fundraising.  When I needed her recently she was able to help with just a moment’s notice and thank goodness she did. Jayne.  You know who you are, thanks for being a new friend to GDGH, we can’t wait to meet you!  Kristen McCarthy and Emily Glover did amazing things with what they had.  If you haven’t read the story of how Kristen began GDGH you should.  Lastly, my husband Steven Rosas… he might be the sole reason I survived the storms GDGH has faced over the years.  He’s been there for all of it.  He was there when Kristen was looking for name inspiration and famously said “that name is too long” but she chose it and now Giving Diapers, Giving Hope it is forever.  He has been the technical side of GDGH, the spreadsheet designer, and the one who made this new CRM possible with his knowledge.  He is amazing and yes, I’m very lucky.

 So what’s ahead for GDGH?

You read through this entire thing and still haven’t heard what else we have up our sleeves for GDGH didn’t you?  You’re a champ!

Other than having our two new amazing shipping partners and a new CRM system GDGH will be making changes to our fees and shipping.  New families as of today will be paying $15 and this only covers shipping to them.  They’ll now be responsible for the return shipping fee.  Yes, we are still loaning the diapers but this new method will be best for our shipping partners.  You can read more about the why and how on the GDGH blog post.  We also have new outreach pamphlets (beautifully designed by Amanda Hearn!) that are printing as we speak.  These great new pamphlets will be our way of educating families in need of diaper assistance.  We rely on word of mouth in the communities outside of the cloth diaper world.  As more WIC counselors, social workers, and agency employees learn about GDGH they are reaching out to us for resources.  We will be working to send them out as requested so that they can assist families on the ground with their diaper need by recommending GDGH.

 

It’s an awesome feeling to know how loved you are.  I really can’t begin to convey my thanks to everyone who gives their time, money, and products to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  I never wanted to run a Non-Profit (I only ever wanted to lend my own time and expertise) but here I am.  No hidden agendas, no PR machine, no motives other than getting more families in reusable and cost-saving cloth diapers.  What we do matters and that is why we do it- no baby should go without clean diapers.  In April we will celebrate FIVE years of helping families.  Soon GDGH will be the longest running cloth diaper charity (that I know) ever.

I’m incredibly proud to be part of something that impacts so many lives and I can’t wait to see what our team can do in 2016.

Don’t forget to look at the Giving Diapers, Giving Hope website to learn more, apply, or donate.  I couldn’t end an entire blog post without a plug could I?

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ABC Kids Expo 2015 WAS AMAZING- Recap

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2015’s ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas was incredible.  Not because it had better new products than previous years, or because it had more free booze at the booths- it was because I was reminded of how amazing this cloth diaper community is.  There were great new prints, awesome new products, and more booze too.  #keepingitreal  First the new products, then read all the way through to see why I love this community!

The new Woodlands Collection was introduced by Thirsties and I couldn’t love Aspen Grove any more if I tried!

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

FOUR new prints from Super Undies that reflect their SUPER status for trainers and overnights

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

A NEW round hanging wetbag and new Smart Cover from Smart Bottoms {play video}

A Surprise new product from AppleCheeks to match their prints- leggings!

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

The newest prints from Tots Bots- Beach Bum, Knickerbocker, Rocket Boy, and Dolly Mixture. Their trainers will be in the US soon and they have a new AI2 in the US called PeeNut (review from DDL coming in the future!)

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

Sloomb introduced us to their new washable woolies and OBF colors in this Periscope (ignore the secret word title)

PlanetWise has fun new wet bag prints that you shouldn’t miss!

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

Bottombumpers has 3 new prints including Dinomite (my personal fav, look at those cute eyes!)

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

We learned about the new prints and improvements in design (including custom elastics for better wear) at the Tidy Tots Booth from the owner Sandy

Logan + Lenora proves again that diapering accessories can be fashionable for moms! Their newest print is Go Spot Go

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

bumGenius has 3 new colors and a new version of the Original Pocket (5.0) but I was more interested in the Elemum line of menstrual cloth.

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

Last but not least are the new Tokidoki Prints from Rumparooz! SWOON!

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

 

That’s not all of the new products and prints but it’s all I can share in one post! You can find more photos from the show if you hop to my Instagram feed or view more of the videos taken live at the show on my Periscope’s Katch page.

Now to talk about the people.  I won’t dwell too long on this one but I truly have the most incredible “squad” as one reader puts it.  My friends are the absolute best.  When I was at my lowest last week I had a circle of people holding me together and building me back up.  I left a stronger person with their help.

  A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

I also made an exciting announcement at the Cheers for Charity Happy Hour hosted by Spray Pal and Molly’s Suds to benefit Giving Diapers, Giving Hope. (For those who don’t know I am also the Executive Director of this non-profit) Thirsties and Kelly’s Closet will be the new shipping partners for GDGH beginning soon! Before the announcement our team of board members that were in the area, close advisors to the organization, and many people that own or work for the two companies that are our new shipping partners.

A photo posted by Kim Rosas (@kim_rosas) on

To see the live announcement watch the video starting at 5 minutes!  I was a bit nervous and it is fast!

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Periscopathon Recap! The Best 17 Hours Ever!

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On September 28 the cloth diaper community came together to support Giving Diapers, Giving Hope in the form of the first-ever telethon using the new social network Periscope.

Periscope is an app that allows anyone to broadcast live video from anywhere in the world to anyone!  The idea to utilize this fun new social media platform was inspired by BALM Baby and grew to include over 30 brands/retailers/media.  So many people signed up to raise money for Giving Diapers, Giving Hope that the event lasted a staggering 17+ hours!  Sept 28 also marked the first day of National Diaper Need Awareness Week.

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I kicked it off at 10 minutes til 9 AM EST and closed it (even though TheBabyGuyNYC was still broadcasting his bedtime story #afterdark finale) at around 2:00 AM EST.  Each hour two members of the cloth diaper community held their own broadcast to discuss diaper need, how cloth diapers can be a solution for families in need, who THEY were and why they cared about this issue, and how their company was helping by donating!  Each person set up goals and if they earned x number of hearts they would make a donation to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  The more hearts they earned the higher the donation!  Brands made donations totaling $1,700+ and pledged to give more than 450 cloth diapers to GDGH!

The other aspect of this Periscopathon asked for YOUR donations!  We had a seemingly impossible goal- we wanted to raise $5,000.  Did we make it?

YES.

YES WE DID.

We raised a staggering $6,300 and exceeded our goal by $1,300!

How did we achieve such a feat? We did it through the passion and combined efforts of a community I grow to love more and more every single day.

We did it thanks to Calley from Diaper Shops wearing a diaper on her head while doing the Whip and Ne Ne.
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We did it thanks to Lavie Bebe throwing a pie in her own face when she hit her goal!
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We did it thanks to Smart Bottoms matching dollar for dollar every donation made in their Periscope up to $500. Their fans and the company together raised $1,415! (PS you can order Smart Bottoms print Jamberry nails to beneft GDGH now too)
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We did it thanks to Milk and Sugar Co and her awesomely fun Periscope game of The Price is Right!
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We did it thanks to qdSpray and her hilarious game that involved 3 facts about me. She even played a clip of my infamous Pteradactyl laugh that only a lucky few ever get to hear!
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We did it thanks to Rumparooz and their special offer to send doll diapers to donors who pledged $35 or more in a new print that no one has even seen yet! And Super Undies who also promised special trainers in their new prints to the highest donors during their Periscope. And Lalabye Baby who offered a HTF print giveaway for donors and Spray Pal who danced for heart and donated $10 for every 10,000 hearts!  Molly’s Suds who SANG, Change Diapers who got to pet a sleeping puppy, The Eco Chic who made the perfect backdrop, Funky Fluff creators who both talked in their best Canadian accents, GroVia who upped their stretch goal and got enough hearts to donate 200 covers, MamaSuds who shared her passion for healthy cleaning products, The Eco Friendly Family who made everyone love her, Cloth Diaper Geek who taught us how to diaper on a budget, AppleCheeks who was most fashionably dressed, Dream Diapers who had people watching on two screens just because they love Deanna that much, ConservamomE who put her baby in a tux for the occasion, Donna from Black Women Do Cloth Diaper who passionately explained the diaper gap and lack of resources/education, FiggyFuzz who shared how cloth diapers help Foster families, Samozrejme who taught us how to say her name AND pulled out special prizes to raise donations, Strawberry Sunshine who shared her love of cloth and supported us all the whole day, Thirsties who learned how to Periscope that day and took us on a tour of their warehouse, EcoNuts who taught us about soap berries, Pinstripes and Polkadots who eloquently explained why diaper need is such a huge problem, Bottombumpers who shared her own personal story, BALM Baby who grossed us out with maggot talk, Softbums who showed us the slide2size, Sloomb who began an impromptu wool class, Sweet Pea Diapers who announced a special GDGH diaper coming soon, and TheBabyGuyNYC for tucking us in with a special bedtime story at 2 AM!

We did it thanks to YOU.  YOU guys who shared, and tweeted, and invited, and TAPPED and TAPPED and TAPPED!

Thank you.

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Join the Periscopathon Sept 28, Donate, and Help GDGH Fight Diaper Need. How and WHY

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The #Periscopathon is in just a few short weeks and it’s my goal to get every DDL reader involved. Not only will your shares, donations, and hearts help Giving Diapers, Giving Hope reach their fundraising goal of $5,000 but it will help our overall goal to educate and inform the general public that cloth diapers can be a solution for diaper need.

$5,000 seems like a lot, right? To be fair, it IS a lot of money. For a small non-profit $5,000 makes an enormous impact in the budget, especially when you know that GDGH has little overhead costs thanks to the volunteer administrative staff AND the labor that GroVia employees provide at no cost to us.  If you’d like to see more about GDGH’s finances we have it all spelled out in a blog post.  Our goal is to be transparent about everything we do.

To raise this much takes very little when you consider how large the cloth diaper community is. When there are groups that have 6,000, 10,000, even 50,000+ members you know that we are out there! Just a single dollar from each member would fund GDGH’s program for the entire year AND allow for growth.  Many of us have been through diaper need or realize how lucky we are that we already have cloth diapers when unexpected costs arise like a major appliance breaking, or plumbing disasters.  GDGH can only provide the diapers we have, and only pay for the shipping fees ($15 per family at this time, leaving $20 each family owes that covers shipping to and from their home) if we have the funds to do so.

GDGHfamilytestimonial

Each week we see dozens of families that apply to our organization and we ask them how cloth diapers could help their family. Here are just 3 of the hundreds of stories that represent the diversity of families applying and diaper need in the US.

“I am a single mother of a ten and a twenty three month old. Currently I am unable to work and am living with family and am having to rely on the generosity of others. Food stamps and the WIC program take care of our nutritional needs, so the only serious expense I have to worry about is diapering. I have a few cloth diapers, but not enough to use them exclusively, which would be a tremendous help. … this set of diapers for the boys will allow me to use strictly cloth so that that extra money can be spent trying to better our family’s situation.”

“I am a single mother who simply can not afford diapers. A good friend of mine gave me a set of cloth diapers when I had my baby and I was also able to obtain a hand crank washer to wash them and line dry, it has been beyond helpful. However, my baby has grown a lot since birth and has outgrown all of the cloth diapers and covers that I had. I donated them (bc I didn’t know about this program) to the  survival center, where I have found much needed help with food and clothing for my children. I am able to get about 15-20 disposable diapers from the food pantry there, but only once a month. I would rather use cloth and I can not afford to buy the disposable kind. Giving Diapers Giving Hope was just suggested to me by a close friend and I feel that my family would greatly benefit from your program. Thank you for doing what you do, and I hope you are able to help my family.”

“GDGH’s generous lending of a set of cloth diapers for our son would relieve pressure from the expense of disposables. I actually didn’t think of considering cloth until I watched the GDGH promo video. Something in the video deeply resonated with me…it was that those in poverty are forced to make their babies wear their diapers for too long to make them last longer. And it also showed a wife texting her husband that they wouldn’t have enough diapers to last until payday. Both of these situations have happened to my family. This isn’t fair for our baby. He shouldn’t have to wear dirty diapers. This would make cloth attainable for us. Without this, we would never be able to afford cloth diapers.”

What I want people to understand most about diaper need is that it can happen to anyone, at any time.  When I made the above me mentioned video I included “luxury” items like the washing machine and the smart phone because I understand that many families in financial hardship own a phone and have a washing machine in their home.

Being that more than 60% of families living below the federal poverty level have a washing machine in their home why can’t cloth diapers be a solution for them?  “but Kim… why should poor families have one more burden on them ?”  I recently asked on my Facebook page how many single mothers use cloth diapers and how they made it work.  The most popular response from single moms was that they would put the diapers in the washer at bedtime, then toss in the dryer right before they went to sleep.  The diapers were waiting- clean and dry- the next morning.  By my own calculations I found it takes 30 minutes of actual “work” to wash, dry, and fold cloth diapers.  The other time the diapers are being washed by the machine.  It’s very comparable to handwashing where the average time spent washing, wringing diapers, and hanging to dry took 40 minutes based on 2014 survey responses in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  I’ve been told many times by families that they are willing to put in the extra work of cloth diapering because it means their baby can always have access to clean diapers.  I don’t pretend to understand the hardships others face I just know that when it is possible to wash diapers instead of going without or stretching the disposable diapers to their limits- I would choose to wash diapers.  Getting those cloth diapers is the struggle.

That’s why GDGH exists, to alleviate the start-up cost for families so that they can be financially unburdened by disposables and take charge of their baby’s diaper needs with cloth diapers.

Now that you can understand the needs families face and how GDGH helps, please take a moment to learn about the Periscopathon with this video. You can see how to follow all the broadcasters by viewing the video on Facebook.

Enter the giveaway and make your donation now until Sept 28 on the Giving Diapers, Giving Hope blog!

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Diaper Need Awareness Benefit for GDGH- Be there!

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September 28-October 4 marks Diaper Need Awareness Week- a time when those involved in diaper bank work like to remind the public that going without diapers is an issue that far too many parents face daily. When families face financial hardships they can apply for and receive benefits such as SNAP to help them buy groceries, or WIC to help them buy formula and other necessities for pregnant moms and infants. Neither program provides the other necessity- diapers.

Cloth Diapers CAN Help from Giving Diapers, Giving Hope on Vimeo.

There are many, many commenters in Internet-land who loudly proclaim these gems “if you can’t afford to diaper your kids you shouldn’t have them” or the always fun “Can’t afford diapers? Don’t use them- that’s what they do in the Amazon.” There are also the commenters who suggest cloth diapers. Usually those comments are from the older generation who proclaim proudly how they were diapered in cloth and their parents were poor- it’s just the logical thing to do if you can’t afford disposables.

Most often these “know-it-all” commenters come from a place of privilege. It’s easy to say what poor families should do with the money they don’t have, and it’s even easier to say those things from behind the computer screen. Would they tell a woman, infant in arms, that she shouldn’t have had that baby to her face? I doubt it.

Diaper need is often overlooked but there are many wonderful organizations, both local and national, that are there to assist families by providing diapers. Usually these diaper banks or food pantries can only give parents a small number of disposable diapers in order to help the large number of families that rely on them each week. Even with this help it’s not uncommon for the families to still run out of diapers before they can get more from the same diaper bank.

I’m one of those people who WANTs to comment on these article- use cloth diapers! They can help! I too come from a privileged point of view. I’ve never once had to choose between buying food or diapers (and not just because we have always used cloth.) I grew up relying on food pantries to eat more than not, and yes I have had welfare cheese. Thankfully I escaped that life and it’s something my own children have never known. Today I am fortunate enough that I can volunteer for a cloth diaper bank. Currently I serve in the role of Executive Director of Giving Diapers, Giving Hope, prior to this position I was their Fundraising and Social Media Coordinator.

I do this because I truly believe cloth diapers CAN help families in need, but the start-up cost of cloth is often a fee families cannot afford. There are so many ways to get started with cloth on a budget but not every family is able to.

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope has enabled more than 1,000 families to start cloth diapering since 2011 for the cost of shipping. We do this with a lot of help from GroVia (they manage all of the shipping and receiving on our behalf which is incredible).  The program loans a set of diapers and families can use them as long as they need them. When they’re done with the diapers they ship them back with a pre-paid label. GDGH helps the families who aren’t close to a local cloth diaper bank. You can find examples of other cloth diaper banks on clothdiaperbanks.org.

This year I don’t want to see or hear “… but cloth diapers aren’t an option for low-income families.”

Why the media feels this statement is 100% fact is beyond me. 60% of families living under the poverty level have access to a washer. Many times this is because they rent a home or apartment that includes a washing machine. Having a washing machine doesn’t imply they are not truly “poor” just as the ownership of a smart phone or possession of a car or computer shouldn’t. Hardships comes without warning, and some families have been gifted such items from family or friends who want to make their quality of life better. Washing machines are not an indication that families shouldn’t qualify for public assistance. In our case it just means they can save $60 or more per month by using a charity like Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.

Periscopathon BiglogosBIGGER

In order to raise awareness that cloth diapers CAN help we need you, our community, to help us. Share the video. Join the Periscopathon on September 28. Tell your friends to join, have them tell their friends.  We can only give away ALL the prizes, including the highest value prizes in the Rafflecopter, if we hit ALL of of fundraising goals so be sure to participate in this donation drive on Sept. 28.  Enter to win but again, remember, all prizes may not be given away if we don’t hit our goals.  See more on the GDGH blog about our event.

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And my new favorite print is Jax & Jill from Smart Bottoms!

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When you combine Mid Century Modern + cloth diapers + supporting my favorite charity it = my new favorite cloth diaper print!

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Smart Bottoms announced their newest print, Jax & Jill, that is an atomic inspired print in bold, retro colors.  The print will ONLY be available at MommyCon locations this year and for each diaper sold a generous $5 donation will be made to the cloth diaper charity Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is a non-profit cloth diaper lending organization.  GDGH helps approved families all over the US by shipping them a set of cloth diapers for the cost of shipping.  Since 2011 GDGH has been making it possible to cloth diaper without the high start-up cost that so many families can’t possibly afford.  Since cloth diapers are reusable, the families using this program will no longer have to worry about how they will afford to buy the next package of diapers.  It’s a fantastic charity that helped over 500 families in 2014!

It’s no secret that I volunteer as the Executive Director for Giving Diapers, Giving Hope and I was so thankful to learn that Smart Bottoms wanted to support our charity with their print.  I am also involved with MommyCon this year- the Cloth Diaper Resource Center is where I’ll be this year, chatting with new parents and parents-to-be who are interested in cloth diapering.  I’ll also be teaching a session on reusable menstrual options.

To say I am excited about this print is an understatement!  I love the pattern (not just saying that) and I’d totally take the fabric and make (waterproof) pillows out of them for my vintage turquoise sectional  any day.

GDGH is so grateful for this collaboration and the money raised will be going towards our ongoing effort to reduce the shipping fee that approved families pay from $35 to $20.  We are striving to help more families get the reusable and sustainable diapers they need and Smart Bottoms is going to be a big part of that.

If you can’t get to a MommyCon location this year I would join the Smart Bottoms fan group to find out if there will be any members coordinating group buys.

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A New Way to Show Your Cloth Diaper Pride! #GDGHJams

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Before I tell you the WHAT, here is my full disclosure.  I am not a fan of MLM or direct sales.  I’ve lamented them in the past publicly, including on my Facebook page.  I did say there is one product I would begrudgingly buy from MLM’s and that was Jamberry nails because the product is a good one that lasts way longer than nail polish and is non-toxic.  I wouldn’t order them from a friend on Facebook who posts about it incessantly and adds me to their group without asking me but if I could wear them I would find someone who isn’t annoying and buy them.  Alas, I don’t have finger nails but I’m assuming a few of you guys do!

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A super duper friend who doesn’t sell Jamberry wanted to suport Giving Diapers, Giving Hope with her artistic talents so she decided to design cloth diaper themed jams!  How awesome is that?!  Amanda Hearn does a lot of work for GDGH, she designs many of our promo graphics, helped with our brochure, and even helped with our recent map design that we used in our end of the year report and infographic.

Our mutual friend and Jamberry expert Katie Pickles (of AppleCheeks fame) is our go-to for this and she is donating all of her commission (30% of the sale cost) to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope!  She’s not annoying and she is charitable so she ticks our boxes!  You heard that right!  You can buy festive cloth diaper advocacy jams and your purchase will support an amazing charity that helped 500 families cloth diaper their babies for the cost of shipping in 2014!

To get your Jams you can order through this form  but order before January 31!  Please read all of the instructions carefully.  Select the design(s) you want and the quantity.  Each sheet will do 2-3 manicures.  I am ordering the diaper pins (my favorites by far) to wear at MommyCon and I’m hoping this is a good incentive to stop picking my nails again so that I can show off my love of cloth while working in the Cloth Diaper Resource Center!  If you’re going to a MommyCon near you come and say hi so I can flash my nails at you!

tl:dr Cloth Diaper themes Jamberry nail wraps are being sold with 30% of the cost (100% profits) goes to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope, a kick butt charity helping families get started with cloth diapering for the cost of shipping.  No one is making money on this except Jamberry and you need these cool wraps.  Buy them!
Order Your Jams

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Score a HTF bumGenius Print and Support a Great Cause!

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Recently the most amazing package arrived at my doorstep- a box full to the top with brand new, HTF bumGenius and Flip diapers.  No, it wasn’t a dream, it was shipped to me from Abby’s Lane.  Why?  They saved them and wanted them to do some good for a great cause and I’m fortunate enough that they chose Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is a non-profit cloth diaper charity that ships a set of cloth diapers to approved families in the US for the cost of shipping.  The organization has been running since 2011 and has helped over 800 families!  It’s growing rapidly and outgrowing the donations being sent so we are having to now order diapers to attempt to keep up.  Fundraisers like this auction will go a long way to help.

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These Newborns, Flips, Elementals, Freetimes, and 4.0’s will be auctioned off on Hyena Cart.  All proceeds from the auction will go to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope!  Prints being auctioned included Jules, Picadilly Circus, Harper, Spence, Marie, Martin, Chaplin, and Audrey.  All diapers are being sold to US only with the exception of the Harper prints that I’ve opened to Canadians.  The bidding begins on Thursday November 20th at 6 PM and ends on November 24th at 6 PM. (update: an earlier version of this post mistakenly said it ended on Thanksgiving Day the 24th.  It ends on the 24th, not Thanksgiving Day)

Before you say- why didn’t they just donate them to be shipped to families- keep in mind that since many of these diapers will likely sell above retail the funds will go so much farther from the sale of the diaper than the single diaper would.  I will admit that I have mixed feelings about selling things above retail but when it comes to charity I am all for it.  There is a demand and demand sets the price.  I know of many parents who are happy to pay above retail specifically because the money is going to a good cause.

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I hope those of you seeking these prints will consider bidding, not only to add the print to your collection, but to support a very worthy cause.  There are so many families who rely on GDGH to get started with cloth diapers- without help many can never overcome the initial startup and instead are stuck in an endless cycle of using their limited funds on disposables each week.  Thanks go to Abby’s Lane for this generous donation that will do a ton of good!

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The Big Reveal- Live Chat with us November 25th to see the #MenoftheBabyIndustry!

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Myself, Spray Pal, The Eco Chic, and Green Child Magazine are PROUD to finally reveal our secret project.  I’d like to say this has been a year in the making but it hasn’t- we started and completed this project in less than 2 months.  They said it couldn’t be done but we said YES it CAN because we are a determined group of women with pretty lofty goals and a great sense of humor.

The project will be for sale soon and you can order a piece of history.  The eye candy inside isn’t bad either.  100% of the profits will be donated to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope so by buying one of these you are supporting a terrific cause that could really use some help to continue its mission.

Sign up to watch our live stream on G+and YouTube on Tuesday November 25th at 9:30 PM EST where we will reveal each man involved and their fabulous photo one by one.  Fortunately (unfortunately?) no one goes for the full monty so it’s totally SFW….. Have you guessed what it is yet?

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It’s a calendar!  

12 months (13 when you include our community member of the year) featuring a Man of the Baby Industry in each one.  We’ve leaked a few brands involved- Planet Wise, bumGenius, Applecheeks…. who else?  You’ll just have to wait and see!  Unlike regular, boring calendars, our calendar includes important dates such as The Big Latch On, The Great Cloth Diaper Change, and even all of the confirmed 2015 MommyCons!  We all know when the 4th of July is…. we don’t all remember those!

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Sign up to view our live chat- G+ will remind you via email if you do join AND we will be giving some prizes out including 5 of the new calendars!  They’re printing now and we should have them by December ready for purchase- keep your eyes peeled for an announcement for sale date.

We are gently suggesting that all viewers have a glass of wine during the chat…  We promise it will be even more fun that way.  Who doesn’t love partying down with their best online friends?  If you drink a bottle that’s ok too…. I won’t judge.  #beenthere

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Sign up to watch!

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