It is easy to assume that when it comes to diaper shortages, one must think that this doesn’t happen in the United States. Throughout the nation, organizations like Jake’s Diapers and diaper banks, in general, are quite rare.
The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona was actually the first diaper bank to ever be established in the early 1990s. Over two decades later, it continues to do its part in diapering kids. When speaking with Leslie, the Manager of Program and Volunteerism, she said initially there was a heavy focus on disposable diapers.
The reason being that in the southwest, the debate rages between cloth and being able to reuse but having to use water, which is rarer, to clean them and disposables that you can only use once. Additionally, she said societal norms had changed. The younger people just associated more with disposable diapers.
This was all true until her organization was contacted by the University of Arizona to do a study on the benefits of cloth diapers. But, Pike indicated they needed cloth diapers as they mostly had disposables. This is where Jake’s Diapers came into play.
After meeting at the Diaper Banks of America Conference, Jake’s Diapers sent cloth diaper kits to Arizona. Leslie said that the preference for disposables is changing because as she stated, “When you have a cloth diaper, you’re never out.”
Leslie stated that families are now excited to receive diaper kits thanks in part to Jake’s Diapers. She said she has even seen some people break down in tears due to the cloth diapers.
When asked to describe the ultimate impact these diapers make on a family, she stated “Imagine an item in your life that is a necessity—that is as necessary as food and a roof over your head, and you can’t afford it. And now imagine that not having this necessity impacts the most vulnerable member of your family?”
Leslie’s summarization explains not only the impact but even the emergency of diapering needy kids. The first 30 cloth diaper kits have been distributed, and the waitlist for cloth diaper kits is growing! We’re currently working on funding more kits for refugee families that have been resettled in Arizona, and we could use your help! Any donation, no matter the size, adds up to big change.