United Way of Southwest Alabama / Uncategorized  / Women United 4th Annual Diaper Drive Kickoff

Women United 4th Annual Diaper Drive Kickoff

Beginning on the first day of National Diaper Need Awareness Week United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) Women United will kick off their 4th Annual Diaper Drive at partner agency Dumas Wesley Community Center (111 Mobile Street, 36607) at 8:15AM. Women United committee members and benefitting agencies will speak about the vast need for diapers & incontinent products for families with children and the homeless population especially homeless women.

Last year, the community donated 14,783 diapers and 7,729 wipes. The diapers and wipes were equally distributed between Dumas Wesley Community Center, Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast, Mobile Community Action Head Start, Mulherin Home, Penelope House, and The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama. These agencies will benefit from the Diaper Drive again this year.

“We greatly appreciated the assistance from the diaper drive” said, Mobile Community Action Community Outreach Coordinator LaKeisha Williams. “Several families were assisted and one in particular was in a tough place financially. The diapers relieved those cost for her three small children instantly.”

A resident at the Sybil Smith Family Village of Dumas Wesley said, “The donated diapers help a lot because it allows me to save money to pay on other bills so that I can move into my own place soon.”

Women United (WU) will be accepting cash donations and donations of diapers for children and adult in all sizes as well as wipes at the UWSWA office (218 St. Francis Street, 36602).

To donate:

In Alabama:

  • There are 176,395 children under the age of three in Alabama. Sixteen percent of children under the age of 18 are an infant or toddler.
  • 23% of children live with families earning less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and 25% are living between 100% and 200% of FPL.
  • 64% of mothers in the workforce have infants.

Diaper Need:

  • Diapers cost between $70 and $80 per month, per child. Infants use on average 12 diapers per day and toddlers use an average of 8 diapers a day.
  • One in three Americans have diaper need.
  • In the past month, 57% of diaper insecure parents who rely on child care missed an average of four days of school or work nationwide.
  • There is no state or federal safety-net program that allocates money specifically for diapers.
  • A single mother working full time at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 makes $15,080 annually; thus, the cost of diapers represents more than 6% of her gross pay.
  • A family with one parent and two children receives $215 per month in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Diapers can take 37% of TANF allocations leaving only 64% for all other expenses – rent, utilities, transportation, childcare, food, medical, etc.
  • For the vast majority of seniors living outside of nursing homes, Medicare does not pay for adult diapers nor do any of the other governmental assistance programs.
  • For homeless the issue is even more complicated, especially for women. Conflicts around when and where “to go” are part of the homeless daily struggle. Adult diapers provide homeless women needed sanitation, safety, and dignity when they need it the most.
    • No Bathroom Access – Many places won’t let homeless use their bathrooms day or night.
    • Menstrual Cycles – Help prevent staining of their clothes when they have limited access to female hygiene products.
    • Safety – Lack of privacy make women unsafe and vulnerable when suffering more exposure from non-private, unspecified spaces for bathrooms.
    • Avoid Arrest – It is illegal to use the bathroom in public spaces, it can give them a way to avoid attention from the authorities.
    • Health – Many homeless suffer illnesses that may cause incontinence issues.

Diaper Need Results:

Families with children unable to afford an adequate supply of diapers may provide less frequent diaper changes to their child in an attempt to maximize their supply of diapers.

  • The failure to provide adequate diaper changes and diaper dermatitis and urinary tract infections (UTIs),
  • There are potential associations between diaper need and parenting stress. Specific domains of parenting quality such as parental stress levels and depressive symptoms have been implicated as key mediators in the poverty and child outcome pathway.
  • Parents experiencing poverty in the form of income and material hardship, for example in the form of diaper need, are subject to increased parenting stress. Children whose parents manifest high levels of stress or depression are at greater risk of social, emotional, and behavioral problems.

Homeless Women

  • Not having enough public restrooms where women can use a safe space for urinating may lead to serious health complications.
  • Urinary incontinence occurs much more frequently in women, and generally manifests at an earlier age in those who are homeless.
  • Lack of access to incontinence products is likely to produce urinary tract infections (UTIs). Untreated UTIs can cause urinary incontinence and present dementia-like symp­toms in older women.
  • Women suffering from incontinence and related diagnosable medical issues may also suffer from related emotional, social, and psychological issues that affect their ability to complete normal daily.


NDNAW draws attention to the issue of diaper need in the U.S.  A signature initiative of the National Diaper Bank Network launched in 2012, the week provides individuals, organizations, communities, and elected officials the opportunity to engage in real talk and simple actions. By working together we can ensure that all babies have access to clean diapers and other basic necessities required for them to thrive and reach their full potential.

Founded in 2002, Women United harnesses the power and dedication of women leaders in our area to transform our communities in Southwest Alabama. Membership is gained by donating a gift of $1,000 or more annually or $1,500 combined with a spouse.