BALTIMORE — In 2014, while looking for a place to donate diapers that her children had out-grown, Jackie Weisman discovered the diaper gap, which stems from a federal program designed to help low income families.
Weisman realized that WIC does not cover diapers and while diaper banks exist to help fill the gap, none were available in rural Caroline County, Maryland.
WIC— the Women’s Infant and Children’s U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition program— provides federal grants to the states for supplement foods like milk, cereal and bread and health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income pregnant and post-partum women, and to infants and children up to age five, categorized as at-risk nutritionally.
“This discovery led to setting a goal of collecting 3,100 diapers in honor of [Weisman’s] 31st birthday. Not only was this goal met, it was surpassed with a final count of 8,101 diapers along with a massive number of wipes and diaper cream,” Weisman said.
Weisman donated them to St. Martin’s Ministries in Ridgely, Maryland, and in the following years, she has facilitated the collection of more than 30,000 diapers.
This year’s goal is to collect 12,000 diapers, Weisman said.
On August 1, 2017, she plans to kick off her fourth annual 12for1 Diaper Drive where diapers, wipes or rash cream can be delivered to locations in Preston, Crofton, Easton, and Chester, Maryland; and in Millsboro, Delaware.
Interested participants can also ship diapers, wipes or creams or make an online donation during the drive, Weisman said.
“Since I am not a diaper bank, or an established 501c3, I wanted to find a name that reminded people why this is so important,” Weisman said in explaining the name of the drive. “Studies show that the average, healthy newborn uses at least 12 diapers [in] one day. Thus, the name 12for1 Diaper Drive.
This year the goal of collecting 12,000 diapers during the month of August might sound a little ambitious, but worth it, Weisman said.
“But honestly, if I collect 100, I will be thrilled because even that makes a difference,” she said. “Also, I have had a few businesses reach out to get involved, so I have made them drop off points. This will save people from running around to either drop off diapers or for my family and friends from running around picking them up.”
Weisman credits former President Barack Obama for bringing the diaper gap to the forefront, but noted the immediate response wasn’t what she had hope for. She said many frowned upon the president’s mention of a diaper gap, which frustrated her because she knew they were uninformed.
“This isn’t about people having kids who can’t afford them,” Weisman said. “This isn’t about cloth diapering. This is about babies who need clean diapers to be healthy.”
The designated drop-off points are: Choptank Transport, 3601 Choptank Rd, Preston; Creative Gardens Nursery School, 1560 Crofton Pkwy, Crofton; Sears Hometown Store, Easton, 219 Marlboro Ave, Easton; Sears Hometown Store, Kent Island, 1521 Postal Rd, Chester; and Friendly Flowers, Millsboro: 26582 John J Williams Hwy, Millsboro, Delaware.
Packages can be shipped or monetary donations can be made via check or an Amazon e-gift card. For information regarding shipping or donations, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, a Go Fund Me page has been established at gofundme.com/12for1diaperdrive17.
For more information, visit www.12for1.org.