2017 Women United Diaper Drive A Success
Women United of Southwest Alabama, the women’s leadership initiative of United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) collected diaper donations to advance the health and economic stability for families in our area. The drive, which lasted from October through the end of 2017, collected more than 17,000 diapers and wipes distributed to four United Way partners: Dumas Wesley Community Center, Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast, Gulf Regional Early Childhood Services, and Penelope House.
One in three families in Southwest Alabama struggle to provide diapers for their babies. An adequate supply of diapers (approximately 200 diapers each month) can cost in excess of $100 a month or more if they are bought in small packages at corner stores.
Without enough diapers, parents often cannot leave their children with a child care provider and, thus, cannot attend work or school. In response to this growing need, the membership of Women United hosted a diaper drive for the second year to benefit United Way partner agencies serving individuals and families in need of diapers.
“Many do not know that diapers cannot be purchased with food stamps or WIC vouchers and there is no direct government assistance that provides diapers to families in need,” said Women United Committee Chair Jenny Hunt. “Furthermore, many nonprofits are unable to maintain an adequate supply of diapers due to increasing demand and most coin-operated laundromats do not allow customers to wash cloth diapers for health and sanitary reasons. As a result, babies are left in wet diapers for many hours causing illness and discomfort and preventing playing, learning, and growing.”
A recent national survey conducted by National Diaper Bank Network and Huggies found that parents who struggled with diaper need missed an average of four days of work in a month. By providing the resource of diapers, the Annual Women United Diaper Drive helps families continue focusing on fulfilling their basic needs and, in turn, move closer to long-term financial stability.
“I am thrilled at the community’s response to this drive,” said UWSWA Vice President of Resource Development Jill Chenoweth. “This drive recognizes that small things, diapers, affect big things, including a family’s physical, mental, and economic wellbeing. Diapers matter. And, for families in need, donated diapers frequently provide the only resource available to help parents, guardians, and others obtain clean diapers needed to keep a child healthy.”
United Way would like to thank the several community members, local businesses, and their employees who participated in the drive by collecting diapers, baby wipes, and dollar donations used to purchase diapers. Those companies and community members include Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood, the University of South Alabama’s Women’s Soccer Team, the Ladies of Labor, Russell Thompson Butler Houston LLP, Alabama Power, the University of South Alabama, Boys & Girls Club of South Alabama, and members of United Way’s Women United Committee.