Tag Archive | "giving diapers giving hope"

…and a Kim update too! Family, Fitness, Home, and BlogU

This post may contain affiliate links.

No, I’m not making a pregnancy announcement like Lara did yesterday.  However, I realized I haven’t given a good “random stuff” update in a while about my family and our happenings.

 

FletcherupdateThe biggest update is that my oldest son is just about to graduate from Pre-K this month and will start Kindergarten at a charter school in the Fall.  This is the same kid that was testing diapers when I started Dirty Diaper Laundry 5 years ago.  Fletcher is at the age where he is really fun to be around, not because he is a baby and cute to look at, but because he says interesting things and can hold a conversation with you.  He has learned to read with ease, something I’m thankful for, and will even read a book to his brother at night.  I’m looking forward to this summer when his brother will be at school and he is home so that we have time for just us.  He is a competent bike rider and we can go about 3 miles total together on our rides.  He has even started jogging with me… more on that later.

 

bikeev copyEverett is also growing up quickly, too quickly, though to me his is still my baby.  He still wakes at night and crawls into bed with me and sleeps right in the crook of my arm which never ceases to fill my heart with joy.  Co-sleeping is the last bit of babyhood I have left so until he is done, I am content having him join for middle of the night cuddles.  Once that is gone, I fear all the baby from him will be gone and I’ll be looking at a real pre-schooler.  Last month he started at his brother’s “school” for 2 days a week, giving me a much needed break to either work or run errands without any children.   We have no family here so getting any breaks is few and far between and it definitely takes a toll on my sanity.  Even though Everett is very attached he took to school right away with no tears, much to my surprise.  He is also riding a bike with no training wheels (thank you balance bike for the early training) and we are stopped at least once a week by a passing car on our street to tell us how amazing it is to see such a young “baby” riding a real bike.  I think it is pretty amazing too, and together we take short rides  or he rides just on our cul-de-sac.

And now to type out something for the sake of putting it in the public sphere to hold myself accountable and feel an obligation to keep up with it.  I’ve actually started to exercise!  I was inspired by another blogger, The Feminist Breeder, who started her own group for Lazyass Runners, and I downloaded the Couch to 5k app.  I even bought new sneakers, the first pair I’ve purchased in about 8 years.  I bought an armband to hold my iPhone so I can listen to music and the app, and I’ve asked for a FitBit for Mother’s Day.  I was asking my husband for the adult Aden+Anais daydream blanket for Mother’s Day but that would probably just keep me on the couch even more than I already am, and since I’m trying to get off it that is probably a bad gift idea!  I’m just as surprised as anyone else about this development.  I’ve been extremely lucky in the metabolism department for the bulk of my life until about last year.  Once the breastfeeding and constant bouncing stopped, the weight creeped back up.  I’m a short gal so even a few pounds extra can mean my stomach is farther out than the DD’s that I kept after both pregnancies (seriously,where the HELL did those come from?!  I just bought two new bras and sure enough, that is my real size).

mothersdaygifts

So when it comes to fitness and being healthy I have no clue how to start.  I’ve never counted calories, I did count carbs during both pregnancies thanks to being a gestational diabetic, but I haven’t the first clue about what to eat and when.  I can’t give up coffee but I have given up the frappucinos, for now.  Realistically, I will be doing the three days a week of the Couch to 5k, and the rest will be bike rides or walks in between when possible.  Besides losing a bit of extra weight I’m looking forward to being less sedentary.  Blogging doesn’t exactly equate to a vigorous work day!  I may post some updates on my Instagram with the #couchto5k and #lazyassbloggers tag but I don’t have plans to incorporate this journey into regular blog updates.

couchfinalchoice

Our home updates have slowed down considerably.  We are still anxiously waiting for my Great Aunt’s 60′s era sectional to come back from the upholsterers (It has been there since February!).  We are having it recovered in a rich, deep teal that my husband and I both fell in love with.  I should definitely blog about that journey, reupholstery is not for the faint of heart, especially when having someone else do it! (Maybe I need to re-think getting that A+A blanket, doesn’t it match the couch?!)  In order to pay for this I have picked up quite a few videography gigs, filming and editing videos for companies and brands.  It is something I really enjoy doing and it combines my love of cloth diapers and reusable products with the skills I’ve picked up these 5 years.  I will be posting some updated interior shots but I want my couch first!  If you missed the year of DIY and home improvements you can catch up on those older posts.  Our entire home has been re-painted and remodeled, mostly by my husband and I, and now we are finally getting to just enjoy the home!  This July will mark 2 years living here in this home, and in Florida.

blogu14photoOther than the blogging and the video editing, much of my time has been spent helping the cloth diaper charity, Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  It is an amazing thing to be apart of and I’m so proud of the work we are doing.  I’m also getting ready to speak at ABC Kids Spring  (a baby industry only conference) on a panel with bloggers way out of my league (I can admit that!) on social media in 2 weeks.  Jill from Baby Rabies, Charlie Chapen from How to be a Dad, and Jamie Grayson (we are not related, that was a real rumor!) who is THEBabyGuyNYC will be on the panel.  In June I’m off to BlogU, a blogging conference in Baltimore, MD.  I chose this particular blogging conference because of the lack of extras.  As fun and helpful as the BlogHer conferences have been in years past, I really wanted to try a smaller conference with less outside parties and events.  Not only is the cost significantly lower, but I’m looking forward to meeting others in that intimate setting.  I’ve been blogging for 5 years and there is still so much to learn!  If you stop teaching yourself and attending conferences you can be left in the dust.  New social media platforms pop-up (Pinterest and Instagram were not around when I started in 2009!) and algorithms change.  Blogging styles have changed- when I began having photos were not required, but now posts are so much more visual that not adding a photo is unheard of!  As much as I’d like to tune out the noise and just be one with my content, the world of self promotion and social media cannot be ignored.  There will also be sessions about the business side of blogging and many other topics I am happy to learn more about.  Plus, I get to hang with my roommate Amanda from The Eco-Friendly Family so that is always a bonus for work trips!

The summer will have an influence on my work schedule.  Things will slow as I spend time at the pool with the boys and with my new desire and commitment to exercise.  There are plenty of projects in the works though, so don’t count me out yet!  Can you believe my boy is going to school in the Fall?!

Posted in Personal PostComments (3)

Sign Up for the 4th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge

This post may contain affiliate links.

It is that time again!  Time to sign-up for the 4th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge. This year our event will take place beginning on the morning of May 11 and lasts until the end of the day on May 17. The excitement is building as more parents are learning about the event and the benefits of using flats, not just because they are the best for handwashing, but because flats are amazing cloth diapers!  Why are we doing this?  To show that cloth diapers can work for any family- especially for those choosing to buy diapers each week over using the money for other expenses they also need to pay.

flatschallenge2014signup

First, you will want to understand the rules of participation.

Materials Allowed

The following diapering items can be used:
• Any flat cloth diaper, store bought or handmade. A flat should be only 1 layer of material for easier handwashing and faster drying.
• 1 night time diaper per night of your choice although you are asked to make flats work for you (this diaper must also be handwashed)
• Doublers (not inserts meant to be absorbent enough to stand alone) if you absolutely must.
• A diaper sprayer.
• Wet bags/diaper pails for storage.
• Handmade “washing machine” for diapers such as the camp style washer I made last year.
• Non Electronic Portable washing machines (must be powered by you and cost less than $100.
• Commercially available or handmade covers.
• Commercially available or handmade detergents.
• Snappi, Boingo, and Pins for closure.
• Pocket diapers STUFFED WITH FLATS. (note that the potential for repelling on the stay dry lining could make your challenge harder but you can see what happens)
• Homemade or store bought fleece liners.
• Iron (to use in order to expedite drying time or sterilize)

Materials Not Allowed

• Electronic washer/dryer.
• Pockets with inserts other than flats, AIO’s, Fitteds, Contours, Prefolds, AI2’s, etc.
• Flushable liners.

Rules for Everyone

• You cannot use your washer or dryer.
• If for some reason something arises and an exception is made you need to disclose in the Conclusions Survey or on your blog if you are a blogger.
• There is no limit on the number of flats or covers you can use. Should you purchase 100 flats for $100 and go a whole week without washing? No. Use your common sense on this one. As a tip the more diapers in your camp washer/ sink/ tub the harder the washing will be.

Rules for Bloggers

Bloggers are encouraged to participate and chronicle their week.  I will have link-ups for each day of the challenge with blogging prompts.  If you sign up as a blogger you will be sent more information on the prompts and rules to add your links.

For Stores and Manufacturers

Each year this event sees an increasing amount of interest from stores and manufacturers who often offer discount codes and incentives for flats and covers. If you are a company planning to offer any sort of special promotion or discount related to the challenge, or your company is blogging along, please email beforehand to discuss opportunities.   dirtydiaperlaundry@gmail.com

Sign Up.

AND GET YOUR FLAIR!

imtakingthe2014flats

Resources to get you started…

You can also browse all blog posts made in during the past challenges (in backwards order, skip to the last page and work back for chronological order) by using the Flats Challenge tag.

donategdgh2014

As always the heart of this challenge is to shine a light on the fact that there are families struggling to provide clean diapers for their babies and to offer an alternative solution not often discussed when the major media outlets cover these stories. There are diaper banks that can help families get started with cloth diapers for free or little cost. If you know a family or are a family in need please visit Giving Diapers, Giving Hope- the longest running nationwide diaper lending program that ships to any approved family in the US. I encourage anyone touched by this challenge to donate to their organization and help them provide more diapers to more families.

Join our Facebook Group for live updates and to learn from other participants while we all get prepared for another Flats Challenge.  On Instagram and Twitter we will once again be using the #FlatsChallenge hashtag, also #bringingflatsback for funsies.

Pin It

Posted in Flats ChallengeComments (35)

Paycheck to Paycheck

This post may contain affiliate links.
42 million women are living at or below the poverty line, and an additional 28 million children are living alongside them.

 

This is according to the film Paycheck to Paycheck, a documentary produced by Maria Shriver with data from the Shriver Report, showing a year in the life of a struggling single mother.  This film aired on HBO and is now available on HBOGo.  I heard about this movie through an email sent by the National Diaper Bank Network- it was said those who work or volunteer in the diaper bank world should watch.  So, I watched it.

Paycheck-to-Paycheck-movie

In the film, we see Katrina Gilbert struggle to provide for her three children.  She was married ten years before splitting with her husband due to his painkiller addiction.  She became a CNA (certified nursing assistant) to pay the bills, working long days and even longer consecutive stretches to keep a roof over their heads.  She is paid what some may think is a good wage, higher than minimum even- $9.49 an hour, doing back breaking labor.   She works holidays and misses those moments with her children, probably for the same reason my own sister has to- they pay higher those days so it makes sense when you are broke.

Because her youngest child over the filming period is 3, we don’t see what struggles she would be facing when it comes to affording diapers.  She has trouble affording everything else so it only makes sense if her son were still in diapers that this would be another unwelcome expense.

Here is why this film matters- it shows a family that to anyone, doesn’t look “poor.”  The mom wears scrubs to work and she could easily be mistaken for a registered nurse.  For a while they are even living in a decent sized home with her boyfriend, which from the outside looks nice.  We find out at the end of the film it has suffered water damage and much of their property and clothing were ruined, several rooms weren’t even usable due to mildew, and they didn’t have the money to fix any of it.  I loved this movie because it shows the side of poverty we ignore- the working poor.

Many of us consider those living in poverty to be homeless.  People with homes, they aren’t poor.  They can afford homes so things are fine.  Katrina and her children lived in a trailer park (the same kind that I lived in my entire life) so that one is a little harder to call.  They had a car, the children wore clothing without holes or stains, and everyone looked nice and “normal” from the outside.  Yet, Katrina spent every cent of each check on her bills.  As a check came in, it went out.  The money was spent immediately.  Off and on she has food stamps, so some days she has better chances of getting all the groceries she needs.  She has no health insurance and so she ignores her own health issues because she can’t afford to pay for the medications or doctor visits.

The woman is working every day!  She is employed full time and yet she is living in a small, run down trailer and doesn’t have enough money to survive.  Her story is the story of a lot of Americans, probably even a lot of you who read this blog.  To those who claim over and over that people are poor because they are lazy, or won’t work, this isn’t usually the case.  If she were fairly compensated for the work she was doing her life would be more than ok, yet she isn’t so she has to work more hours to meet the pay that others can make in half the time.  In fact, Forbes just crunched the numbers-

67 people are as wealthy as the world’s poorest 3.5 billion.  

 

So many people dismiss cloth diapers as a non-option for those in poverty.  This movie shows a woman who had a home, (presumably) had access to laundry, but was still completely broke.  Other than the extra time commitment on a very busy schedule, there is no reason cloth diapers couldn’t work for a mom like Katrina if she wanted to use them.  No one can force them to, but shouldn’t they understand that they have the option?  The very network that suggested this film to watch is the one often quoted in the media saying cloth diapers won’t work for poor families.  This movie shows the side of poverty it could work for, the working poor, the ones who are just getting by but have a place to call home and have a washing machine.  $60 extra a month, enough to cover a prescription or a lot of staple food items, that is what they would save once they have the diapers in hand.

“But Kim, what about the start-up cost?”  

This is where I leave you with links for families who need help because they can’t afford the $300-$500 that it CAN cost to begin cloth diapering.

$15 DIY Cloth Diaper Stash using XXL t-shirts and fleece for tie-on covers.
Two FREE booklets on cloth diapering solutions for struggling families to read or download
Cloth Diapering on a Budget ideas
Apply to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope (a national cloth diaper lending service) or find a local cloth diaper bank near you.

It was very hard to watch this film and see the lifestyle I myself lived through before I moved to college.  It is the life that much of my family still lives, and my hometown is suffering a major increase in the poverty rates, currently at 28.4%.  Katrina’s story is the story of my sister, and one of my best friend’s, and millions of other women I’ve never even met.  I’m reminded of how fortunate I am that I don’t worry about how to feed my children or keep the lights on.  It is unfair that this is way things are and these are the choices families are making.  The gap between the wealthy and the poor keeps getting wider.  It is heartbreaking to see women doing everything they can, working one, two, even three jobs and still not having the money to pay for living expenses.  I can’t fix it but I want these families to know that they can stop lining the pockets of disposable diaper companies if they choose, and keep that money for what they need it for most while having peace of mind because they’ll never have to choose between buying diapers or food.

wecanhelppromo

If you get the chance, please watch the film.  And if you feel that you would like to help a family like Katrina’s get cloth diapers, Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is always accepting good used condition or new cloth diapers.  You can also directly assist families by sponsoring the cost of shipping -this is a cost we can’t yet reduce since we do not yet have the financial support to do so.  You can also email us givingdiapersgivinghope@gmail.com or apply on the website for assistance.

Posted in Personal PostComments (24)

Save the Date! 4th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge May 11-17, 2014

This post may contain affiliate links.

The date has been set so mark your calendars for May 11-17 for the 4th Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge!  If you’re new to DDL let me give you some background information on what the Flats Challenge is and why you should consider participating.

Flats and Handwashing Challenge 2014

In 2011 I began the Flats and Handwashing Challenge as a way to test my own commitment and willingness to do whatever it took to keep my own child in clean diapers, if the situation were necessary.  The news outlets were reporting on diaper need- when families cannot afford to buy diapers for their children- and how they often resort to leaving disposable diapers on longer than is safe, some even going as far as scraping out the contents and reusing them.  Why were no media outlets talking about cloth diapers?  Why do they never mention cloth diapers as a viable means of solving diaper needs?  

I am the first to admit how hard and often impossible using cloth diapers can be for families who can’t even find a place to sleep at night.  Still, there are many, many families who are in the position to use cloth diapers but mainstream media refuses to publicize them or mentions them only as a non-option for low-income families.  Need is NOT black and white.  There are families who can’t afford diapers that live in nice looking homes, and families who can’t afford them who live in conditions many of us can’t imagine.  Why paint a picture of need in one color with the same sized brush?

A quote from the LA Times: ”Cloth diapers are often not an option because they require frequent and expensive trips to the laundromat.”  Ask the thousands of families making cloth diapers work who are considered “low-income” before making such statements.  It can work, with a washer and without!

To show that cloth diapering can be done in almost any situation and on even the smallest budget I decided I would use flat cloth diapers and handwash them for a week, and invited anyone else interested to join me.  My personal goal was to see if it was even possible, how long it would take, would I be able to even wash them well enough, and do those diapers work well?

The answer was yes!   Yes, handwashing cloth diapers is possible if you make it possible.  Yes, it does take longer than using disposables, and longer to wash than using a machine (30 minutes on average).  Yes, I got them clean enough by hand and felt comfortable using them on my baby.  And YES!  Flats work like a dream!  As a matter of fact, they became a favorite to use at all times because of their versatility and washability.  By doing this at an extreme, it shows that variations of this method will work for everyone.  It also teaches families how to diaper during emergency situations if that arises and the power is out (with access to water) or how to handwash diapers while on vacation in hotel tubs.

This challenge has received a negative backlash because some feel it makes light of the real struggles families face everyday or has unrealistic expectations of how hard life can be for the people who are experiencing diaper need.  Others felt that because the challenge was started by a middle class white woman (ahem, me) that it instantly lost any credibility because how could I possibly relate or understand the needs of anyone struggling to make ends meet?  Some people do take this “challenge” for fun, some do it because they want to understand how hard it is and can be because they want to help others.  I do ask that people remember the reason this event began and are sensitive to the fact that there are families doing this every single day.  It isn’t a GAME, for some people it is life.  I am not ungrateful for the life I have and the conveniences I can afford.

I never set out to make this an event, it became one organically because so many others felt it was a way to understand how difficult, but possible, using the most inexpensive diapering option available even without access to a washer /dryer could be.  The other people involved each year are creating data and teaching others about how to use flat cloth diapers, how to handwash, and what works and what doesn’t.  I used this data and the experiences of myself and others to help create free booklets with ideas for low-budget diapering solutions.

We all want to make families more aware of their options.  While modern cloth diapers are the most convenient, flats and covers are the cheapest and also the least complicated!  There is no need to stress about the washing routines because flats contain no elastic or synthetics and they’re one glorious layer of fabric!  Covers can be was easily as well, and all can be laid out to dry.  Flats dry far faster than their modern counterparts, even prefolds, because of that 1 ply thickness.  Take a look at last year’s infographic explaining the Flats Challenge and the results of handwashing from our participants.

Sign-ups will begin next month so look for that post soon.  You can check out the past announcements to see the rules.  They stay basically the same with small changes each year, but the biggies are that you can only use flat cloth diapers and only handwash and hang to dry.

donategdgh2014

If you are a retailer, brand, or company that wants to be involved in some way please get in touch with me (look to the sidebar on the right for contact info).  I would like to find a way to use this event to raise diaper donations and funds to help Giving Diapers, Giving Hope- the non-profit cloth diaper lending organization I volunteer for.  Let’s find a way to help more babies get the cloth diapers they need.  

Posted in Flats ChallengeComments Off

Give a Cloth Diaper to GDGH, get a NoseFrida! All February long!

This post may contain affiliate links.

Wouldn’t you love to help a worthy cause while also getting a little something in return?  Perhaps you have a cloth diaper or two that are no longer seeing love in your rotation?  

nosefrida2

Send them to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope!  In return, you will receive a NoseFrida!  The handy, dandy NoseFrida is a must have product for moms of little ones to effectively suck out the snot (literally) without irritating the nose.  The biggest bonus is how easy to clean they are!  No chance of hidden mold or bacteria like the bulb syringes!  You can learn more about the product on FridayBaby.com.

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope helps families in need by lending families a stash of cloth diapers for the cost of shipping.   GDGH recently partnered with GroVia so shipments will be going to their warehouse.

Who doesn’t have a few diapers that your baby has grown out of or maybe it just isn’t a diaper you reach for?  Skip the hassle of selling by donating to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  Right now they are experiencing a lot of need!  Already, over 70 families have applied since they re-opened January 16 and they are expected to send close to 500 diapers in January!  Next month that number could double but they will need your donations to fulfill the needs of their families.  Ship to:

The Natural Baby Company
Attn: GDGH Donations
1203 North Rouse Unit 3E
Bozeman MT 59715

NoseFrida has a Buy 1, Give 1 Program, inspired by TOMS, and we are so thankful they are choosing to partner with Giving Diapers, Giving Hope for February!  A Nosefrida will be packaged with each diaper bundle sent to the approved applicants that month too!

“At Fridababy, we want to put the Windi and the Snotsucker in the hands of as many parents we can. That’s why for each one you buy, we’ll send one to a clinic, family doctor, or donation center that serves families in need; because everyone should know the joy of giving sweet relief to the stuffed-up or uncomfortably gassy little ones in their lives.”

So go raid your diaper drawers!  

-Rules: 1/household; fulfilled by Fridababy the following month, based on GroVia/GDGH’s list of the prior month’s confirmed donors.  Only diapers postmarked for the month of February will be eligible, US only.

-Minimum donation: 1 cover, 1 all-in-one, 1 pocket, 1 all-in-two, 1 fitted, or 6+ prefolds/flats (must be in good, working condition such that GroVia can ship to a GDGH recipient family; no delamination, tears, worn out elastic or aplix, etc-)

-While supplies last, up to 500 NoseFridas available.

Be sure your packages include a legible return address so that your donation is included into this promotion!  Thank you for supporting this worthy cause and thank you FridaBaby for this generous program!

Pin It

Posted in Cloth DiapersComments (19)

GIVE and Win GroVia diapers for a family in need!

This post may contain affiliate links.

After the exciting announcement last week that GroVia would be partnering with Giving Diapers, Giving Hope to help them with their shipping and receiving needs.  Already this partnership has proved to be an immense help!  We are almost up to 10 boxes shipped since that announcement!

To celebrate GroVia is going to give a full stash of new GroVia diapers to a deserving family.  Here is how it works-

givingdiapers

1) E-mail social@gro-via.com before Friday, Jan. 24, with an original photograph taken by you that illustrates the word “GIVE.” Get creative! Your photograph does NOT need to feature diapers or even people at all. Please keep the family you are hoping to win for anonymous to the public. High-resolution is preferred, but cell phone photography is acceptable. (the example has text on it, you don’t have to do this)

2) We’ll e-mail you back with an application for you to fill out with/on behalf of the family you are hoping to win for. Only families who qualify using GDGH’s normal qualification standards will be eligible. Return the application by Monday, Feb. 3.  It is very likely that you won’t know the particulars of their income so we will have a different application for you)

We’ll post the photograph entries in a Facebook photo album for our fans to vote on Feb. 4! The FAN FAVORITE after three days of voting will WIN a #GivingDiapersGivingHope, all-new GroVia #clothdiapers stash for a family struggling to afford diapers for their baby.

(Income-qualified applications that do not win WILL be eligible for GDGH stashes if interest is indicated. You may not enter on behalf of your own family.)

You could help a family you know win a whole stash of diapers by taking a photo!  It is fairly simple, and this gift could mean the world to someone you know.  I hope you’ll consider participating!

Posted in Product AnnouncementsComments (0)

Announcing the partnership of GroVia and Giving Diapers, Giving Hope!

This post may contain affiliate links.

There are no true words that can describe how excited I am to be announcing that Giving Diapers, Giving Hope has partnered with GroVia to help even more families get the diapers they need.

groviagdgh

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is a national cloth diaper bank that aims to provide income qualified families with a set of cloth diapers for the cost of shipping.  After applying and if approved each family receives diapers for their child(ren) that are shipped to their home.  This is where GroVia is stepping in!

When Giving Diapers, Giving Hope began they were a local diaper bank, however the need for cloth diapers wasn’t quite there, but the need nationally was.  Knowing that they received more requests from everywhere but their homebase in Gloucester, MA and that the other national diaper bank recently closed their doors they decided to open to all states.

As the years went on the organization saw an increasing interest both in applications and donations.  They moved shipping operations to their local YMCA and received volunteer help, but once again they quickly outgrew that space and needed more hands.  Kristen and Emily were running things alone, and I could only help remotely with certain tasks.

Over the summer they shut down to applications and used that time to try and find a solution.  I’ve been helping them for a while behind the scenes, and was in contact with Kim Ormsby of GroVia.  We met in October to discuss various ways GroVia could help.  That day is one I will never forget!  Kristen, Emily, and myself were unsure if and how the organization would continue without a warehouse for diaper storage and more hands to help sort donations, pack them, and ship them.

Kim offered us exactly that.  The Natural Baby Company and GroVia facilities will begin accepting donations on behalf of Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  Employees of TNBC will sort incoming donations and fulfill the packing and shipment of outgoing donations.  The team from GDGH will continue running all other aspects including application approval and day to day operations.

I’m telling you guys… I’m crying all over again just writing this out because you have no idea what this means to our organization.  It was do or die. Without a solution in sight we wondered if we would have to close down indefinitely.  In fact, we were mostly closed for over 6 months to national applications.  Between this partnership and the new website that has yet to be built (we didn’t go on with building the new website until we were sure we would continue our work) Giving Diapers, Giving Hope will be able to help many more families!

There are some moments in time you will never, ever forget. The hope, relief, and gratitude all of us felt after this generous offer was made by Kim and the team of  GroVia is indescribable.  I walked away, sat down in a chair, called Kristen to tell her the offer, and we both cried tears of joy!

We still need your help!

Along with GroVia we have had many other amazing companies support us with donations, both monetary and diapers.  The team behind Giving Diapers, Giving Hope wants to assure our past and future donors that our partnership with GroVia will not end these relationships.  We know that our organization has the ability to help many families and your contributions are a huge part of that!  A large portion of donations are also from individuals who send their cloth diapers that are in good used condition.  Cloth diaper donations, both new and used, can she shipped here:

The Natural Baby Company

Attn: GDGH Donations

1203 North Rouse Unit 3E

Bozeman MT 59715

If you no longer have diapers to donate or would like to help in a more tangible way, we are also introducing a new program where you can “Send Hope.”  At this time, approved families pay a $35 fee to have the diapers shipped to them; the fee also covers the return shipping back to us when they are finished with them.  $35 is still a good deal of money!  You can pay for a family’s fee and each time we receive this donation it will be applied to the next approved applicant’s fee!  Donations are anonymous to both parties involved.  Ready to sponsor a family?  Do so here: Sponsor a Box of Hope.

If you or someone you know could benefit from Giving Diapers, Giving Hope they can apply on their website, or if the site won’t load (we are having some problems with it today of all days) directly fill out the application here: https://clothdiapers.wufoo.com/forms/giving-diapers-giving-hope-application/

I want to send a special thank you to a few friends who have helped immensely during this process.  Amanda Hearn of Green Child Magazine, Calley Pate of The Eco Chic, and Maria of Change-Diapers.  And of course, we owe Kim Ormsby and the team of GroVia the biggest thank you of all for coming to the rescue.  

Posted in Product AnnouncementsComments (3)

Donate to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope and Win! Here’s how…

This post may contain affiliate links.
We are SO close to our goal of $1,000 dollars to build a new website for Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  We have all but $600 so it is time to reach out to the community of cloth diaper users and businesses.  

gdgh_squaredIf you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m in charge of Giving Diapers, Giving Hope’s fundraising.  Even though I can’t help them with the enourmous task of sorting donated diapers, packing them for their intended families, reading and approving applications, and all of the other day to day tasks I can contribute remotely by helping them with fundraising and social media.  It is the least I can do.  If you aren’t familiar with GDGH they are a national cloth diaper lending service that ships cloth diapers to families who wouldn’t normally be able to afford the start-up.  The video embedded below will give you more information about why Kristen started this amazing charity, and how Kirsten and Emily work together to make it all happen.

The Story of Giving Diapers, Giving Hope from Giving Diapers, Giving Hope on Vimeo.

When the applications increased starting last May the organization quickly realized that with the current system they could not keep up with the demand.  They didn’t want to turn people away, but also didn’t want to let down the applicants.  They stopped accepting national applications for a few months over the summer to take a much needed break and will re-open sometime in Ocotber.  Kristen works full time as a teacher, and Emily, the President of Giving Diapers, Giving Hope just gave birth to a handsome little boy in July!  Along with working and volunteering they also have their own families to run.  Over the summer I took on the task of finding a better system- one that was easier for applicants and more efficient for Kristen and Emily, who spent 70% of their time reading and replying to emails related to incomplete applications, questions regarding the status of appplications, and status of the diapers being shipped.  The answer was easy, find a website that could send updates to clients automagically.  The solution- finding one that fit every need- wasn’t as easy.

That is when we decided the best option was to build one.  I’ve already worked on a custom built website before, you may have used it, it’s the Cloth Diaper Finder.  Building a website from scratch isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap.  However it simply has to be done to make this organization run.  Similar national organizations in the past have hit walls before and would usually close to applications periodically.  Kristen and Emily always knew running a non-profit cloth diaper organization would be time consuming and difficult, but they knew they wanted to succeed where others failed before them.  The US needs a national cloth diaper charity to bridge the gap between the local cloth diaper banks.  They are few and far between for now!  {look at this map to see if you have a local cloth diaper bank}

To help fund this website Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is offering sponsorship opportunities for businesses, bloggers, and individuals.  Sponsors will have their logo on the sponsor page, individuals will have their name listed.

Tier One- $350
Tier One donors will have the most prominent placement on our supporters’ page at the top.  Logo displayed is 300×300.
Tier Two- $100
Tier Two donors will still have a nice sized logo displayed towards the middle of the page.  Logo displayed is 150×300.
Tier Three- $25
Tier Three donors spots are ideal for WAHM’s and bloggers.  Logo displayed is 125×125.
Friends and Family of GDGH-$5
A text link or just the name of the donor listed.  We know our friends, even those without websites, want to help us. Every little bit gets us closer to our goal.

I’d also like to help by offering my services to a donating business, and prizes to an individual!

 

I’m going to do two giveaways- one for the businesses that enter and one for individuals.  If you’ve already donated you are still in the running to win!

Business-

If you donate as a business your name will also be entered into a drawing.  The business that wins will receive one free month of advertising on DDL and a special dedicated post all about your store/brand.  This comes out to about a $100 value.  If a business donates at the highest tier and wins the drawing I’ll throw in something special to be arranged with the winner, maybe a video?  Who knows!  I’m a jack of all social media and editing trades.  I’m GOLD!   If a blogger wins they will also get free advertising for their blog, and will get the same spotlight post.

Individual-

If you make a $5 donation you will be entered into a drawing for the following prize package of brand new items used in previous videos.  Value is well over $130.  You can increase your odds of winning by making multiple $5 donations if you’d like.  We are raising money for a charity, I’m OK with that!   The winner has to be from the US.

  • Large Wet Bag
  • Set of Cloth Wipes
  • One Size WAHM Diaper (gender neutral)
  • Medium Fitted Diaper (gender neutral pattern, but blue)
  • Fleece liners
  • Wipe cubes
  • Cars printed minky lined changing pad
  • An “I Love Cloth Diapers” large button

I will draw the winners once we have reached our goal!

Fill Out This Form To Donate

 

Posted in Blog Life, GiveawaysComments (0)

“For the Love of WAHM! Fluff” Benefit Auction for Giving Diapers, Giving Hope Starts Friday!

This post may contain affiliate links.

gdghpromo2

Last month I was honored to share six different WAHM brands that exemplify the craftsmanship and love that go into well made cloth diapers. Brands include Zabi Baby, Poppy Fields, Moraki, Mo Dia, Ella Bella Bum, and Dunk-n-Fluff with all proceeds going directly to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  The auction is being held on Hyena Cart and begins this Friday, March 8.

This auction is a small effort to help fund an organization that often goes unnoticed.  They are always receiving and shipping diapers even when there are no blog posts being written, or Facebook statuses about them, or tweets being sent.  Day in and day out these women and volunteers are putting in hours and hours just unpacking donations, sorting diapers, approving applications, and shipping boxes of hope to families.  It might seem like a small thing, these little boxes of diapers, but to anyone who has ever struggled to choose between buying diapers or buying food this little box is truly the gift of freedom and peace of mind.  The video below is a documentary that will hopefully give everyone an idea of what a great cause we are supporting.

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is a non-profit that provides income qualified families a stash of cloth diapers for a small shipping fee.  The organization started in 2011 when Kristen McCarthy was suddenly without a job and still had two babies in cloth diapers.  As a single mom she wasn’t sure what she was going to do.  Luckily she had already been cloth diapering and had enough to not worry.  She wondered what other families would do in the same situation but that didn’t already have cloth diapers.  How could they afford to buy disposables, or even cloth diapers?  The start-up cost can be a few hundred diapers and when you are living with little or no money then you can’t just buy diapers.  With no federal or state programs that provide any diapering assistance Kristen, along with Emily Glover, started Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  After almost two years these two women have been able to ship over 3,600 diapers all across the country.  Hundreds of families no longer need to worry about how they will afford to buy diapers and their babies will have a clean and healthy bottom no matter what.  In 2013 the organization partnered with the Cape Ann YMCA’s Leader’s Club in their hometown of Gloucester.  The Leader’s Club, a group of teens who spend part of their free time doing volunteer work, now assist with the packing and shipping of cloth diapers.  With an ever increasing number of applications and donations their work is very appreciated and necessary to keep the organization running.

People ask “Why does Giving Diapers, Giving Hope charge a shipping fee?  Aren’t the families applying struggling financially?”  At this time GDGH does not have the funds to ship diapers to families or pay the return shipping fee.  It has always been their goal to eventually be able to send diapers free of cost to those who are approved.  The fee now is $35 which covers both the shipping to and from the families.  This can be a lot but it is far less than the actual start-up cost and way less than the value of the diapers being sent.  As their organization continues to grow they will strive to eliminate or reduce this cost.  As their fundraising coordinator I am constantly brainstorming ways to sustainably raise funds that can cover costs of shipping and operating costs year-round.

I’ve had the privilege of serving on the GDGH Board of Directors since their humble beginnings.  This year we are auctioning 6 amazing WAHM made diapers on Hyena Cart.  We are hoping to see lots of bids on these great diapers because they are gorgeous, and maybe also just because the money is going to this worthwhile cause this is surely close to all of our hearts.  If you aren’t able to bid, or don’t need diapers but still want to help, you can!

Visit their website’s donate page for more information on donating diapers or you can make a direct donation to them via Paypal.  GDGH can provide receipts for your tax deductible donation.  And if you want to help but can’t donate just spreading the word is enough!  Post to Facebook, tweet it, announce it on your diapering forums or in your cloth diaper groups on Facebook.  Be our Word of Mouth helper and shout it out!

diapersauction

Bidding on the diapers will begin on Wednesday, March 6 and end on Wednesday March 13.

Posted in Product AnnouncementsComments (4)

DDL’s Holiday Gift Ideas 2012

This post may contain affiliate links.

Looking for inspiration for gifts this year?  Lucky for you I have collected a few ideas to share with you.  If you are looking for tips on the year’s “hottest” toys (and by “hottest I mean- the toys you will get trampled for on Black Friday at Target for) then skip this post.

For your friends, family, neighbors….

Personalized Ornaments from PersonalizedFree.com have over 1,800 customizable ornaments and an easy shopping interface.  Browse by theme to match the recipient’s interests and then add their name(s).  The best part?  PersonalizedFree.com will be donating 10% of your purchases to my favorite cloth diaper charity- Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  Use code GDGH at checkout to have your purchase count!

 

For the New Baby…

Really babies need very little except milk, snuggles, sleep, and clean diapers.  Considering only one of these things can be purchased you know where I’m going with this!  One of my favorite brands also makes the most adorable cloth diapers for newborns.  Orange Diaper Co. has squishy soft, gorgeously crafted newborn cloth diapers in to die for prints.  Sometimes I reconsider not having another baby when I see diapers this cute.  Fluff under the Christmas Tree?  Yes!

 

For the Non-Walker…

The box from whatever gift you thought was a good idea….just kidding…kind of.  But really and truly this age group is a hard one.  Not yet toddler, yet not baby enough to just sleep all day.  Crinkly paper, boxes, and noise making devices suit these little guys just fine.  But since you are going to buy them gifts regardless consider sturdy and colorful board books.  One of our favorite series is by Leslie Patricelli- author of “No No Yes Yes,” Quiet Loud” and “Yummy Yucky.”  Simple, colorful, and actually somewhat helpful, these books have been a favorite in our home for years.

For the Busy Toddler…

The Wheely Bug is a Rosas Family staple and a toy I suggest to everyone I meet.  Unlike traditional ride on toys, the wheely bug by Prince Lionheart has caster wheels that move in all directions so that the child can turn the toy.  How frustrating are ride-on’s that only go straight?!  These ride-ons aren’t hideous to look at either.  We have 3- the Cow, Bee, and Lady Bug, and they all meander through the home yet I never try to hide them like the other toys.  Fun for toddlers and preschoolers too.  Even I ride them once in a while…

 

For the Impossible Pre-Schooler…

It is ALL about imagination and pretend play!  For Christmas your precocious pre-schooler might love indulging in some imaginary fun dressed as a super hero, a doctor, or even a bear.  Whatever you choose there are so many stores and WAHM’s making costumes.

 

For the Moms…

I recently stumbled upon an artist on Etsy with some beautiful paintings depicting breastfeeding, bed sharing, and motherly love.  Perhaps the mom in your life would love to hang one of these in her home?  They are stunning.  Find her work here: Katie M. Berggren

 

For The Dads…

I am always clueless for gifts to buy the men in my life.  Considering time is the most precious thing in our home I like to do gifts that let my husband spend time doing things he enjoys.  Last year I took a trip to the movie theater and purchased a ticket for him and gifted it tied up with a box of theater candy (they sell them at KMart for cheap!).  It is an inexpensive gift that lets him have some alone time.  Since I never watch action movies at home I made sure he got to see the newest one that year.

 

I have to admit that I am pretty lost myself when it comes to Christmas Shopping!  Still, I wanted to share some personal ideas that have been popular with my family and a special way to help a cause close to my heart when you are looking to buy an ornament for your exchance or for family.  As a bonus you can enter a giveaway sponsored by PersonalizedFree.com and hosted along with other bloggers for a custom ormanent.  Enter via the Rafflecopter below.  Remember, if you order from their website they will donate 10% to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope- an organization that send cloth diapers to families who can’t afford them.  Every baby deserves a clean diaper.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Product AnnouncementsComments (10)


Bummis Duo-Brite, Little Tunas, Opulent Monsters
DDLbutton